Military spouses help provide shelter for Afghan refugees

National News

As thousands of afghan refugees make a new home in the u-s, a small group of military spouses began collecting donated furniture and household items for the families. The group has grown into a movement, with more than a thousand volunteers. It turns out these military moms know a thing or two about moving and creating a community.

If it looks like Amy Marden has done this before, it’s because she has. As a military spouse and mom of two, moving comes every few years.

Since Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul fell to the Taliban in August, she’s been helping afghan families move into new apartments in northern Virginia every weekend.

Marden signed up to volunteer for one of the many organizations helping to resettle refugees. Then she started a Facebook group to collect furniture. And it wasn’t long before Marden realized setting up an apartment was just the beginning.

Marden says the caseworkers assigned to help the families were overloaded. She and a handful of volunteers started working the phones, trying to make calm out of chaos.

Abdul Hasib Dellawar, his wife and three children arrived here the same day Kabul fell. Dellawar worked as an interpreter for an American military contractor in Afghanistan. Marden and her team helped Dellawar enroll his two sons in school and worked with him on his resume, so he can get a job.

Marden has turned the Facebook group, into a nonprofit, called “React dc.” with thousands of more Afghans waiting in limbo around the world, and eventually heading here to U.S. She says helping isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.

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