Afghan refugee donation drive continues at Islamic Society

The Islamic Society of Milwaukee (ISM) is collecting and donating clothes for Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy – nearly six weeks since they arrived.

With nearly 13,000 refugees calling the U.S. Army post home, ISM wants to make sure they feel more at ease and have what they need.

"We’re running a really big operation," said Othman Atta, ISM director. "We’re using this empty space, warehouse space, just so we could accommodate all the volunteers and all the clothing that we’re sending.

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A warehouse is full of items like coats and shoes donated by organizations and community members of southeastern Wisconsin.

"We also have just regular clothing, especially culturally-traditional clothing," Atta said. "We really wanted to make sure that the people have the kinds of things that they’re accustomed to and we had an outpouring of support of that."

Afghan refugee donations collected at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee

Fifty to 60 volunteers are helping with the process.

"We need that many people to be able to sort the amount of clothing and other goods that we’re getting," said Atta.

Afghan refugee donations collected at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee

ISM said it is grateful for the outpouring of support and will continue to help refugees in any way it can.

"We’re very lucky in this community anytime there’s a need of help, you'll find a lot of people out here and a lot of people using their time and they’re helping out," said Wessal Hamdan, ISM volunteer.

In September, ISM collected more than 20 pallets of clothing and donated them to Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy.

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