LENEXA, Kan. — Nonprofit KC for Refugees has seen a drop in donations during the pandemic.
The nonprofit helps people from foreign countries resettle in the U.S. by helping to pay for utilities, rent and hygiene products.
Volunteers started a hygiene supply drive to make sure people they help have important household items they may not be able to afford.
"The refugees when they first come, they do end up getting food stamps, which is great you know for food, but they cannot buy any of this stuff with food stamp money," explained volunteer Linda Zemke.
The hygiene supplies are collected in a garage and come from donations.
However, Sofia Khan, founder of KC for Refugees, said the amount people can give is down and the need is up.
"Donors' population has suffered from job losses and financial issues, and also our recipients, which are the refugees, they have suffered from job losses and loss of finances, so we have had a lot more requests for us to help them with their rent and utility bills," Khan said.
KC for Refugees helps people from a number of countries, such as Sudan, Congo, Syria and others.
"Several years ago, these people were fine in their homes, in their villages, in their towns with a normal life. And due to certain circumstances, they had to leave everything behind, I think these are the most troubled people in the world, in the sense of the tragedies they've been through," Khan said.
According to the Refugee Processing Center, a group operated by the U.S. Department of State, 14 refugees have resettled in Missouri and 20 have resettled in Kansas between Oct. 1, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021.
Khan hopes simple gestures of kindness will help ease the pain of trauma that families have experienced.
"If you are a human being and you care for other human beings. You know, it's very easy to do," she said.
People who would like to donate can either contact KC for Refugees at firstname.lastname@example.org or donate directly to a GoFundMe page they've set up.