WelCom October 2021
When Wellington Catholic Social Services (CSS) appealed in early September for help with housing, furniture and household items to support Afghan evacuees coming to Wellington, they had little idea of how the community would respond. But the overwhelming volume of donations of clothing and furniture has meant CSS has had to close its appeal for furniture and goods.
Thanking people for their contributions, CSS said they didn’t have the capacity to manage and store any additional items. ‘We are moved and humbled by the outpouring of support and generosity from so many people. We should have known!’
As soon as Wellington moved to level two, CSS arranged for pickup of the donated items by two teams of young people from Arise Church in the Hutt Valley and St Vincent de Paul. Then teams of volunteers based at the former St Bernard’s Church in Brooklyn unpacked, sorted, folded and prepared household packs.
CSS is also working closely with Red Cross and Changemakers Refugee Forum, an organisation that works with New Zealanders from refugee backgrounds, through advocacy, research and community-development activities. Changemakers’ general manager, Jacqs Wilton, said the families here in New Zealand have been overwhelmed with worry, initially about getting their loved ones safely here, then how they will manage once they arrive.
Batool Arif, who works at Changemakers as a community advocate, said, ‘We are so grateful for the aroha and donations. They will make a big difference to the settlement of our new Afghan families who have left everything behind to find a safe place in Aotearoa. Having this support helps the Afghan Kiwis to know they are not alone in this challenging time. Thank you!’.
CSS will ensure the donated goods will be distributed to the refugees on their arrival in Wellington. CSS is still looking for support to find suitable housing for the Afghan families. If you can help, please contact CSS community facilitator Paul Alsford at: firstname.lastname@example.org
CSS also welcomes any financial donations, which can be made by going to their website: https://wn-catholicsocialservices.org.nz/