Local agency works to assist Afghan refugees
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD –A Marshfield agency is working to prepare the Afghan refugees currently housed at Fort McCoy for the upcoming cool weather.
“We have been thinking about ways to help the refugees as soon as we knew they were coming to Fort McCoy. Collecting basic necessities such as socks, gloves, and hats seems to be the quickest way to provide assistance. However, as a social service agency, we want to do more, and we will be monitoring information that comes out of Fort McCoy to see what else we can do,” said Ann Heistad-Johnson, owner of Ripple Behavior Solutions, which has locations in Marshfield and Elkhorn.
“Watching the recent images coming out of Afghanistan is heart breaking. Afghans are coming here to flee the terror and violence in their country, and we want them to have what they need to make a better life here. All people deserve to live in a safe place and to be treated with respect. We are Americans who are blessed to be born here, and we have the ability to help.”
Ripple Behavior Solutions will be collecting new socks, hats, and gloves at their office located at 131 South Central Avenue until the end of October. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Heistad-Johnson said that the collected items will then be taken to the Salvation Army for distribution.
The Wisconsin Departments of Military Affairs and Children and Families is also providing supplies of clothing, diapers, and other personal items to the families at Fort McCoy.
“The Evers Administration will continue to coordinate with federal partners to assess and assist in the need for personal goods and supplies at Fort McCoy. Wisconsin residents who would like to help support refugees and in the global response to the crisis in Afghanistan should visit the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families ‘How Can I Help?’ page,” a release from the governor’s office stated.
For more information, visit https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/refugee/help.