The refugee and immigrant services program of Lutheran Services Carolinas is receiving many inquiries in the wake of the collapse of the government in Afghanistan, a crisis that has led to hurried evacuations of Afghan nationals whose lives are in danger because they supported the U.S. military in Afghanistan. LSC is currently helping three families from Afghanistan who are being protected under the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program.
Lutheran Services Carolinas is a long-established provider of refugee and immigrant services in the Columbia and Charleston areas of South Carolina and in the Raleigh area of North Carolina. In addition, LSC serves children and families in North and South Carolina through programs providing foster care, adoption, adult residential services, disaster response, and disability program services. In North Carolina, LSC operates senior living communities around the state.
LSC has been resettling SIV holders from Afghanistan and Iraq since the program was established many years ago. The services Afghan evacuees will receive are the same as those offered to other refugees who get resettlement support from LSC, including case management, assistance with employment and housing, and help connecting to resources in the community.
Some of the Afghan nationals that LSC is helping have relatives or connections in areas served by LSC (Columbia, Charleston, Raleigh). Although family members already living in the U.S. can help with the needs of the evacuees, family members may still be getting acclimated to the U.S. and may not have the means to help newly arrived family members in significant ways.
Volunteers within a service radius of 100 miles from Columbia, Raleigh, and Charleston can be extremely helpful in helping refugees get settled in their new country. Volunteers can help with airport pickups and transportation to appointments and assist with cultural orientation, locating community resources, and simply providing friendship.
Donations of money to LSC’s refugee and immigrant services program (click here) can help provide housing and meet unexpected needs the families might have. LSC welcomes individuals who can share a vacant house or apartment to provide temporary housing for newly arrived evacuees.
While those who have been evacuated from Afghanistan are understandably the focus of media attention right now, LSC continues its ongoing mission of resettling refugees from around the world.
If you would like to inquire about volunteering, please send an email to one of the following addresses, depending on whether you are in North Carolina or South Carolina.