Would you like to support the resettlement of our Afghan allies and other vulnerable Afghan national refugees? Here is how you can help with the Afghanistan response.
Volunteer your service with community organizations that help the cause
Together we can support communities and build recovery systems to help the thousands of refugees that arrive to the United States from Afghanistan. Veterans are key to this support system and know how to mobilize efforts in the community. Helping Afghan children re-unite with their family members is a critical mission in our communities, and Veterans are equipped to support these activities.
Many of our Veterans and Veteran Service Organizations are already helping with these efforts, and VA is responding with a list of resources to assist. This will provide Veterans a means to support their communities, reduce feelings of helplessness, and improve their mental health by serving as a bridge to the community with volunteer service.
Mobilizing a response
The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are seeking to mobilize private sector response to support at-risk and vulnerable individuals from Afghanistan who have arrived in the United States. As part of this effort, VA is reaching out to community and partner organizations to support the mobilization response and engage with Veterans that know how to help.
For information on how to help Operation Allies Welcome, please visit the U.S. Department of State “Call to Action.”
- Businesses, philanthropies and NGOs seeking to address urgent needs may contact DHSImpact@hq.dhs.gov to let us know how your organization can help.
- Organizations interested in assisting with longer-term needs, such as economic integration of those who have arrived from Afghanistan, may contact AfghanPartnerships@state.gov.
- If you or someone you know needs assistance, please visit: Afghanistan Inquiries.
Here are some other ways you can get involved to volunteer to help
*This is not an inclusive list and does not serve as an endorsement by the Department.
- Blue Star Families is committed to strengthening military families by connecting them with their neighbors – individuals and organizations – to create vibrant communities of mutual support. We believe we’re all stronger when we take care of one another, which is why Blue Star Families, in partnership with the White Oak Collaborative, has created a resource bank of useful information related to mental health and well-being, Afghan allies resettlement efforts, and military- and Veteran-connected family response efforts. Visit the White Oak Collaborative website for more information and ways to help at bluestarfam.org/woc.
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. By signing up to volunteer through LIRS, Veterans will gain access to the national LIRS network of partners and affiliate offices for opportunities in their local communities. Volunteer opportunities vary from short to long-term commitments, including airport pick-ups, apartment set-ups, ongoing transportation support, tutoring and assistance in English classes, and community connections. Interested volunteers can find more information and can sign up here: https://lirsconnect.org/get_involved/action_center/siv.
- Team Rubicon is a Veteran-led disaster non-profit that serves communities impacted by natural disasters and humanitarian crises. Afghan families arrive in the U.S. with little more than the clothing on their backs, so we are supporting the resettlement effort at all phases of the process, including logistics support and site management; collection and distribution of donated goods; assisting in the set-up of housing units and providing interpreters. Your skills are needed. Please register at https://teamrubiconusa.org/serve if you want to make a difference. If you have Afghan language competencies, please ensure you identify that in your sign-up.
- Travis Manion Foundation is recruiting Veterans to volunteer in helping Afghan immigrants as they begin a new life in the United States, specifically focusing on Afghan youth. TMF Veterans will provide mentorship through our youth development program, lifting up Afghan children as they resettle in the U.S. Join the Mission at travismanion.org.
- The American Red Cross is supporting several operations right now. This support includes responding to wildfires in the West, following Hurricane Ida and other storms, and providing comfort to Afghan evacuees at several U.S. military bases. Red Cross volunteers help meet the immediate basic needs of those impacted by these events. Turn your compassion into action by volunteering to join us as a shelter volunteer. Click on the Urgent Needs Landing Page to apply for a shelter volunteer position or to find other volunteer opportunities.
- Combined Arms has supported 38 SIV families, totaling 163 individuals since 2019, and are preparing to support the 1000+ Afghans expected to arrive in Houston over the coming weeks and months. The federal government provides funding to several resettlement organizations to aid in SIVs transition to their new communities. After six months, the funding ends, however our SIVs still need support. Combined Arms works to fill in the gaps with the existing resettlement programs and processes, providing SIVs and their families with financial support, essential supplies, resource navigation help, and connection to community. You can volunteer at combinedarms.us to get involved in helping these families resettle in the Houston, Texas, area. There are plenty of opportunities to participate in airport welcomes, mentorship, resource navigation or transportation support.
Veteran Service Organizations:
If you or your organization is supporting any of these efforts or wish to be shared as a resource, please email VAVEOCommunications@va.gov.
The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on the part of VA.