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Hoosier volunteers create care packages for Afghan refugees

Posted at 5:58 PM, Sep 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 10:44:34-04

INDIANAPOLIS — As the need for supplies at Camp Atterbury grows, Hoosiers across the state are coming together to help.

An assembly line formed Sunday morning outside Muslims of the World Coffee and Pastries (MOTW) as volunteers worked at different stations to create care packages.

"Honestly, it's really breathtaking to see everyone, who, like they talked about earlier, from various walks-of-life, different skin colors, different religious affiliations all coming together for a great cause," volunteer Tarek Dabboussi said.

Plastic bags filled up with items like shirts, pants, soap, diapers, and other toiletries. The care packages also include traditional Afghan clothing, hijabs, and prayer rugs.

"One thing we have to understand is it's a very traditional group of people and they might not want to wear Tommy Hilfiger or things like that," Sajjad Shaw, volunteer day organizer, said. "A lot of the refugees that are here are Muslims, so prayer rugs were a big thing ... the hijab, that was something that was in need. So we have 1000 to 2000 hijabs here as well. We want to make them feel like these care packages were really catered to the needs that they have."

Shaw and his wife own MOTW and raised $40,000 for the drive. Items were then purchased in bulk with the goal of filling a rental truck with the care packages.

Jennifer Daugherty came from Wabash to volunteer.

"I just love helping people, so I kinda look for outreach opportunities and I love MOTW. I saw they were doing this and I wanted to be part of the help," she said. "I think it's important to help other people. I feel like if you're not living a life of service, you know, what are you doing?"

The process moved smoothly as volunteers like Motinola Agunbiade, each with a specific task, worked together to welcome the families.

"I think that there's a lot of people who obviously need our help. We're so privileged and fortunate here to have the safety and the things that we have, so why not just give a little bit of time to help pack some," Agunbiade said.

MOTW is no longer collecting donations, but National Guard armories across the state and Community Church of Greenwood are.