Community helps Afghan refugees

Students share how they became involved with helping Afghan refugees


Thousands of refugees in less than 100 buildings. Around half of them are children – many of them as young as 14.
Students at Columbus North have found different ways to help, and the community as a whole has been able to donate over 200,000 items to Camp Atterbury. Senior Ryleigh Bateman took the opportunity to donate items to the refugees.
“My stepmom saw the flyer and I was just running errands on Saturday, so I went to the store and I bought $40 worth of toothbrushes, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products,” Bateman said. “They said they wanted baby things too, so I bought diaper cream and other stuff like that.”
Sophomore Eli Waltz also took the opportunity to donate items through his church.
“I wanted to donate because it was for our church and it was just $50 for 130 brushes, so I thought ‘why not,’” Waltz said.
Donating is just one of the options when it comes to helping the refugees. Bateman talked about some of the other ways that students can get involved with aiding the Afghan refugees.
“I’m sure there are ways you can donate money online. I know there are lots of Instagram posts that if you share the post, it’s like a dollar added to that,” Bateman said. “[Another way is] if you look up where some refugees are at and if they accept donations. Just donate things like hygiene products that are probably hard to get.”
Outside of Columbus, other communities in the United States have found different ways to help. Bateman shared her opinions on what the country has been able to do.
“I think that we should be doing more,” Bateman said. “There’s always room for improvement or ways to help more people. I don’t really know how we would go about that, but I know there’s definitely something we can do. There’s no way this is everything we can do.”
There are some members of communities that feel as if it’s not their job to help the refugees seek refuge in our country. Bateman disagreed with that idea and explained why it is good to still help out.
“I think it’s not necessarily our responsibility, but we need to help these people. They just happen to be victims of everything that’s happening,” Bateman said. “Everyone deserves to seek asylum in this way and I think it’s good that we are accepting refugees.”
Bateman explained that students should get involved with helping because it can make a difference.
“I think it’d be good for students to get involved because in the future it’s nice to be aware of these things,” Bateman said. “Even though you can’t make a huge difference right, you can still make a small difference even by bettering one person’s life by providing something that they can’t get.”