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Pima County libraries accepting donations for Afghan refugees

The Pima County Public Library's "Welcome to America" team is partnering with the group Tucson Afghan Community and the International Rescue Committee to collect items for Afghan refugees making Tucson their new home.

Donations most needed include newborn essentials, personal hygiene items, household cleaning supplies, and small electric appliances. A complete list of most-needed items can be found here. Small monetary donations (checks addressed to "Tucson Afghan Community") are greatly appreciated as well. Please note, new and/or gently used items will be accepted and large items (appliances and furniture) cannot be accepted.

This donation drive began Jan. 10 and will run through Feb. 10.

Items can be dropped off at 14 participating libraries:

Arizona is expecting some 2,000 Afghan refugees in the wake of the U.S. military withdrawal from their country. Their ranks are largely translators who helped U.S. troops during the 20 years of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Tara Foxx-Lupo, Welcome to America team leader, says: "Tucson is experiencing an influx of Afghan refugees settling in the area. Due to recent political turmoil in Afghanistan, they are arriving in an accelerated manner different from a typical refugee resettlement process. In this time of crisis, the Tucson Afghan Community is calling for help to support the newly-arrived Afghan individuals and families. Some arrive with nothing but the clothes on their backs. We hope this effort to provide some daily necessities will be some help on the challenging road to starting life in a new country."

Habitat for Humanity and Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest are also working to assist Afghan refugees and families.

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U.S. Air Force

Afghan refugees crammed into a C-17 in August as they flee their country after helping the U.S. conduct Operation Enduring Freedom.