National Guard accepting donations to help Afghan refugees in Indiana

EVANSVILLE — More than 6,600 Afghan refugees have arrived in Indiana over the past three weeks.

Some brought only the clothes on their backs or a small bag. And as we transition into colder weather this fall, Gov. Eric Holcomb is asking Hoosiers to help those evacuees temporarily housed at Camp Atterbury.  

Nine Indiana National Guard armories are acting as regional collection sites for the public to drop off new items to help clothe and support the refugees. That includes the National Guard Armory in Evansville at 3300 E. Division St.

“A lot of these people came with next to nothing and they’re going through this process unsure about what to do next on their end,” said Sgt. Jacob Groth, who has been in charge of donations in Evansville. “Anything we can do to alleviate their stresses helps extremely.”

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The first group of Afghan evacuees arrived in Indiana Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021.

He said there haven’t been any donations made locally in bulk, but there’s been a consistent stream of individuals who’ve stopped by.

Evacuees are now about 7,000 miles from Kabul, Afghanistan and roughly 40 percent of them are children ages 14 and under – some as young as four months.

The most critical needs are cold-weather clothing for all ages and baby formula.