Assistance to Afghan Refugees

Funds Raised: $12,725


A group of Rotarians gathered this month to discuss how our club might help the 12,000 Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy.  The refugees at Fort McCoy have tremendous and urgent needs, as most fled with only the clothes they were wearing.

The Rotarians included members who are intimately working with the Muslim refugee task force, the Wisconsin State Refugee coordinator, the Red Cross working at Fort McCoy, and Lutheran Social Services refugee resettlement program here in Milwaukee.  The group identified immediate and long-term needs.

The immediate need is for money to buy new (still in original packaging) essentials (toiletries, underwear, socks, sweaters, etc.) for the 12,000 Afghans at Fort McCoy.  Rotarians are exploring options to buy new items in bulk at a discount.  (Suggestions are welcome!)  The Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition has offered Rotary the use and staffing of a truck to pick up the products purchased by Rotary from the loading docks of Kohls or Target.  They use this same truck to drive supplies to Fort McCoy on a weekly basis.

As we have done in other times of crisis (e.g., Hurricane Katrina or the hurricane that hit the Bahamas and Guatemala in 2019), we ask you to consider a generous gift. Let’s step up and make a difference—Rotary Now More Than Ever! 

This informal group is led by Dr. Bob Gleeson with the blessing of the World Community Service Committee Chair, Jerry Stepaniak. The committee will make a thoughtful decision as to how best direct the donations for emergency relief. Already Rotarians on the committee and the board committed $3,500.

We ask that you make a generous and tax-deductible donation to the RCM Community Fund earmarked for Afghanistan refugees.  You may mail a check to the office or donate via credit card by clicking here.

In the meantime, if you have questions, suggestions or would like to work with the committee, please contact drbobgleeson@msn.com.

Rotary Now More Than Ever! 


Afghan Relief Committee Members: Laura Arnow, Todd Bentley, Dan Buttery, Steve Chevalier, Bob Gleeson, Joanne Grunau, Kris Hinrichs, Megan Holbrook, Chris Kolenda, Mary McCormick, Janan Najeeb, Matthew Rochte, Jerry Stepaniak, Barbara Velez