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Nonprofits come together to help Afghan refugees resettling in Clark County

A Vancouver pop-up run by Friends of the Carpenter offers clothing and other services to dozens of families who came from Afghanistan.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Vancouver-based Friends of the Carpenter is a nonprofit day center that provides a workspace for vulnerable members of the community. 

The nonprofit's Executive Director Tod Thayer said they recently teamed with Lutheran Community Services Northwest, a nonprofit helping Afghan refugees resettle in the local area.

"To come to a brand new country, to be completely relocated under the circumstances that they were, we felt like this was the least that we could possibly do," said Thayer.

Hundreds of thousands of people from Afghanistan were forced to flee back in August after the Taliban takeover of their country. Hundreds of Afghan refugees now call the Northwest home, many in Clark County. 

"For many of them, they left with just the clothes on their back," said Thayer.

With that in mind, the two groups opened a pop-up clothing store inside The Friends of the Carpenter day center. 

"That would be utilized by 40 families or about 200 individuals that have come over from Afghanistan that have been relocated to the Clark County area," said Thayer.

Community members donated everything from gently used to new shoes, suitcases and clothing for adults and kids. 

"We just felt like it was really important that whatever small we part we can play, we wanted those folks to feel welcome," said Thayer.

They started the pop-up store in December and plan to keep it going as long as there's a need. If you'd like to help or donate, visit friendsofthecarpenter.org

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