Indiana National Guard troops sort donated coats and other items at the Guard armory in Indianapolis.
(Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

Guard Seeking Winter Clothing Donations for Afghan Refugees

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Afghan refugees at Camp Atterbury still need clothing donations— but what they need has shifted.

Indiana Homeland Security director Steve Cox says Hoosiers have donated about a million items so far. But that includes items like diapers and baby formula, where the need is ongoing. And while some refugees have been resettled, Cox expects some will still be at Camp Atterbury for several more weeks. He says there’s a need for winter hats, coats and gloves.

Indiana National Guard Adjutant General Dale Lyles notes many refugees fled Afghanistan with literally the clothes on their backs as the Taliban overran the country.

The Salvation Army has donated 1,600 winter coats from its annual “Coats for Kids” drive. Major Mark Johnson says he hopes the donations will give Afghans not just physical warmth, but the sense that Hoosiers are welcoming them to their new lives in America.

Camp Atterbury is one of nine military bases temporarily housing evacuees until they complete security vetting. Lyles says some have been resettled already, but about 7,000 refugees are still there, about half of them under 14. About 5,000 more are in Europe awaiting clearance to fly to the U.S.

The Guard is accepting donations at its armories in Indianapolis, Danville, Greenfield, Muncie, Evansville, Fort Wayne, New Albany, South Bend and Terre Haute.

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