Great Rivers United Way calls Afghan schools campaign ‘big success’


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WEAU) – Great Rivers United Way, local universities and the La Crosse School District have requested wish lists for Afghan refugees, and the community of La Crosse has responded.

The effort, called Operation Allies Welcome School Supply Drive, was launched to support classrooms at Fort McCoy for the nearly 2,000 refugees taking courses at the base as part of the effort to help them s ‘adapt to life in the United States.

According to a statement from Great Rivers United Way, in less than three weeks, every item on the school supply wishlist, created by local English educators on behalf of Afghan guests living in Fort McCoy, has been purchased by members. from the community.

The wishlist included 673 items, for a total of over $ 7,783.

According to Great Rivers United Way, these base classrooms, created by the refugees themselves, lacked the supplies necessary for effective learning.

The Wish List purchases were shipped direct to Fort McCoy and have already started to arrive.

The Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security, Vance Callender, is also acting as the Federal Coordination Officer for Operation Allies Welcome at Fort McCoy.

“The generous donations we have received have helped both children and adults,” Callender said.

Callender says the supplies are used for communicative language classes, which prepare students to shop for groceries, pay bills and develop other life skills.

Great Rivers United Way and its education partners say they will continue to assess the needs of Afghan families living and learning in Fort McCoy and keep community members informed of ways they can help.

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