Members of Imam Ali Masjid in Pennsauken teamed up with the Philadelphia-based organization AOPxSOLA on Sunday for the groups’ second donation drive for Afghan evacuees living at Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst.
During this drive, the groups were focused on helping the more than 10,000 Afghan evacuees living at Fort Dix get ready for the colder months. They asked people to donate winter clothing for people of all ages, as well as hygiene supplies, phone chargers, school supplies, and items for the expected newborns of about 300 pregnant women who are living on the military base, according to AOPxSOLA.
Farwa Ahmadi is the director of AOPxSOLA, which was recently formed to represent the Afghan community in Philadelphia, and said many of the donations came from the city.
“We brought four cars of donations here, so this is a joint effort between the Masjid and Philly,” she said.
From the masjid in Pennsauken, the donations would be packed onto a truck and brought to the joint base. Donors continued to drop off bags of clothing and other goods, even after the group had started to pack up for the day.
“I’m a child of two Afghan immigrants, so seeing everything that’s going on made me feel helpless,” said Sarah Ahmad, a member of Imam Ali. “I was feeling helpless, I was feeling guilty. I didn’t know where to start or how to help.”
Ahmad said the two groups packed up 42 boxes during their last event, and a donor recently dropped off almost 70 strollers. The masjid is also collecting monetary donations on Venmo.
“We’re super grateful,” said Ahmad.