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IU organizations collecting donations

Evacuees at Camp Atterbury Faculty and staff from Indiana University are fundraising and collecting materials to send to Camp Atterbury at the Indiana National Guard training site in Edinburgh, Ind., which is temporarily housing Afghan refugees.

The refugees began arriving in early September. The Indianapolis Star reported that Camp Atterbury now has over 6,600 refugees.

Elisheva Cohen, a postdoctoral fellow in international issues and sustainable development in the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies on the IU Bloomington campus, is leading the mission across volunteer groups to get the campus community involved in helping Afghan refugees there. Volunteers from the IU organizations such as the Hamilton Lugar School, Seeking Refuge and the Association of Central Eurasian Studies (ACES) are participating.

“It is about leveraging the resources from the Hamilton Lugar School and getting the campus to support the refugees,” Cohen said.

Many of the resources needed include clothing items, baby supplies, headscarves and prayer rugs. They are hoping to set up a Venmo for donations at a later date.

Since Cohen also serves as faculty advisor of an IU organization called Seeking Refuge, she was able to draw students into the effort. Senior Abbey Krulik, who is co-president of Seeking Refuge, is one of those taking part in leading the effort.

We’re hoping to be able to raise substantial funds to assist Afghan refugees, particularly those being temporarily housed at Camp Atterbury,” Krulik said. “We also hope to be able to educate students, faculty, staff and community members about the situation in Afghanistan and the ongoing refugee crisis in order to foster a more welcoming community towards resettled Afghans.”

A third IU organization is also involved. Jennifer Dubeansky, who is a PhD candidate in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies inside the Hamilton Lugar School, is part of an IU organization called ACES. ACES is collecting materials through their Amazon Wish List. Not only is Dubeansky helping the students in ACES get involved, but she’s also spending hours of her personal time delivering donations to the Camp Atterbury warehouse.

Cohen said her goal is for refugees to be able to have a permanent residence in Indiana and to keep spreading the word to get more people involved in the effort.

Camp Atterbury is in need of translation volunteers for Dari, Pashto and Persian at this time. To get involved as a translation volunteer, email IU’s translation coordinator Dave Baer at dbaer@indiana.edu,

Samantha Hyde is an intern with IU Studios.