Home Charity association ‘Their only hope’: Residents of central Oregon create charity to help Afghans seeking to leave the country

‘Their only hope’: Residents of central Oregon create charity to help Afghans seeking to leave the country



(Update: added video, comments from board members)

New fundraiser for a non-profit golf tournament: “There are a lot of people who have to get out”

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Since the withdrawal of US troops, little has changed for many in Afghanistan. Much like when NewsChannel 21 first spoke with Haseeb Shojai, a resident of the Redmond area in August, his friends and family are still under Taliban control, with limited resources – and little hope. .

But it’s starting to be different for them, thanks to some residents of Redmond.

“I’m in touch with them, and I think lately this organization is their only hope,” Shojai told NewsChannel 21 Wednesday.

This organization is “Support Afghan Families”. It was created by a group of residents of central Oregon who are dedicated to helping Afghan refugees.

Mike Grant, Shojai’s friend and neighbor at Eagle Crest, came up with the idea.

“He was trying to find a way to help people,” Grant said. “How do we make that positive? That’s when I said, ‘Okay, we’ve had golf tournaments.'”

Plans for a golf tournament quickly became plans to start a charity.

“Our focus right now is Afghanistan and on these people,” Grant said. “And there are a lot of people who need to get out.”

Grant, Shojai and a few others came together to create “Supporting Afghan Families”.

“Once people get here, how do we support them? How do we get them up,” Grant said. “So this is more of a long-term project, not a one-year contract.”

Word of the organization spread and, in just a month, the group formed a council of committee members and are on their way to achieving federal nonprofit status.

For Shojai, that means his neighbors are working collectively to do something to help his friends and family.

“I think the people in this community have been very, very kind and kind, to participate in this and just to be of service,” Shojai said. “Just wanting to help people 7,000 miles away that they don’t know at all, it’s an incredible feeling.”

The organization’s president, Mark Rathburn, works closely with Congressional representative offices in the United States and Afghan relief organizations. and state and federal agencies to help refugees.

Currently, the association is helping to finance the cell phone bills of Afghans.

In the meantime, Shojai hopes he will be reunited with his family soon.

“I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the people who have been involved in this, I am grateful for the people who have thought of this. And I am grateful for the people who come to support this.” Shojai said.

The idea of ​​a golf tournament is still underway. This will be the organization’s first fundraiser, followed by a traditional Afghan dinner.

Here is a link to learn more.

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