Across the country, Afghan refugees are beginning to leave the military bases where they’ve been housed since arriving on U.S. soil, and are moving into the cities and towns where they’ll start building new lives with the help of refugee resettlement organizations like Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS).
We are deeply grateful to the companies, from small businesses to multinational corporations, who have answered the call to help LIRS in this once-in-a-generation effort to welcome Afghan refugee families. With the support of these companies and local communities, we stand ready to help individuals, children, and families find firm footing as they start over with next to nothing in a new country.
For example, to help support temporary housing need, Airbnb.org has generously donated to LIRS to help us house Afghan refugees. Beyond its support of LIRS, Airbnb.org has committed to providing temporary housing assistance to 20,000 Afghan refugees worldwide. The cost of these stays is funded by contributions to Airbnb.org from Airbnb and its CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky, as well as donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund.
Another major challenge for newly arrived Afghan refugees is securing transportation from the airport to their new home, and to necessary appointments with resettlement agencies, medical providers, benefits offices, and basic everyday travel. Uber has kindly stepped up to offer LIRS $100,000 in ride credits to help get refugee families where they need to be to ensure a smooth and successful integration into their new communities. Going a step further, Uber has also donated $50,000 to LIRS’ Neighbors in Need: Afghan Allies Fund to provide essential support for newly arrived families, including emergency medical care, temporary housing, financial support for basic necessities, and more.
The Walmart Foundation is another champion supporting our Afghan Allies Fund through its $500,000 contribution, ensuring that Afghan refugees can begin their new lives on the right foot. Beyond this support, the organization has also committed an additional $500,000 to Welcome.US, a cross-sector coalition, of which LIRS is a proud member, to empower a whole-of-society effort to welcome and support our new neighbors.
Similarly, companies like PwC Charitable Foundation, CVS Health, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have made contributions to support the LIRS mission to help Afghan refugees.
We at LIRS are extremely grateful for the partnership and support of these corporate champions for welcoming and embracing some of the most vulnerable. We also recognize that Afghan refugees have longer-term needs, and that the U.S. is poised to welcome much higher numbers of refugees from all over the world in the months to come.
For these reasons, LIRS encourages additional companies to consider following the example of their peers above and support this historic refugee resettlement effort in any way they can. Whether your company manufactures baby necessities or school supplies, provides legal services, offers job seeking assistance and career upskilling, or seeks a cause to support financially, there are so many ways American businesses can help Afghan refugees right here at home.
To learn more about how your company can support LIRS in its mission to welcome and empower refugees, contact Andrew Steele, Vice President for Development at email@example.com