LANDOVER, Md. (7News) — A Maryland non-profit called Homes Not Borders is expecting a surge in Afghan refugees and they are looking for volunteers and donations to help new refugees feel welcomed and at home.
Lauren Osuri leads the non-profit. The organization works with refugee resettlement agencies by furnishing and decorating refugees’ new homes before they move in.
“We’ve heard time and time again how the family’s feel appreciated and welcomed and it’s so much easier to start your life over when you have a comfortable home base and a home to go to,” said Osuri.
Osuri says her home setups have tripled in recent weeks as more Afghan refugees enter the United States. As of Tuesday evening, Osuri said her organization could use more gently used household items.
“These people have nowhere to go. They are literally homeless. They don’t have a homeland. I really feel for them coming to a new place,” she said. “Our Wearhouse is running thin."
She says her organization could use your help.
“We definitely need new twin mattresses,” she said. “And also we have an Amazon Wishlist if you go to our website that can ship like sheets, comforters, pots and pans, those are kind of our top needs and we always need the household products as well. Cleaning supplies, dish detergent, laundry detergent those kinds of things. We always buy those new.”
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That’s not all.
“We are looking to buy a truck. It would be awesome to have a truck donated. Or get money to buy a truck so we don’t have to keep doing the rentals,” she said. “We always need volunteers to help with our home set up. It’s really great if you have a group like a workgroup, boy scouts, church, synagogue kind of group to help with home set up. We can provide most of the materials – you can provide what you want," she said.
As Osuri says, Homes Not Borders was started by volunteers.
“I was just a volunteer at Church, National Community Church, back in 2016 when the Syrians were coming in droves, so my church launched a refugee care ministry and I just volunteered for it,” she said.
As she volunteered at her church, she saw the need for home setups firsthand, which is when Homes Not Borders was born.
“I just want to welcome people and make the world a better place,” she said.
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Below is more information on how to volunteer and donate to Homes Not Borders: