Churches coming together to donate winter essentials to Afghan refugees

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Churches of different faiths are coming together this Christmas Eve to donate to those in need. This year, coats and other cold-weather essentials will go to the Afghan refugees relocating to New Mexico, as they spend their first winter here.

Instead of spending Friday wrapping gifts, Jennifer Christiansen is opening deliveries and donations for those in need. “We learned of an urgent need on Friday of winter hats, coats and gloves,” said Christiansen, with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. “Our members all across Albuquerque responded in a big way.”


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The Albuquerque congregation is working alongside Lutheran Family Services. Together, they’re busy getting winter necessities for Afghan refugees currently resettling in New Mexico.

“There are several hundred Afghan refugees who will be relocated to our state,” said Christiansen. “These items will help keep them warm and welcome them to our great state.”

From donations of coats to boxes full of Amazon Wishlist items, all items collected will be distributed to the hundreds of Afghan refugees adapting to their new homes throughout the state. Christiansen says she can’t think of another way to feel the true spirit of Christmas.

“It’s priceless,” said Christiansen. “Christ, himself, was a refugee so this is a cause dear to our heart, especially during this Christmas season.”

Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, gave an update on refugee relocation. He praised the work of volunteers assisting with the efforts.

“To leave everything you know behind, family, community, friends, and come to a place you’ve probably never been to before, making that journey and then trying to get settled, is quite literally, in and of itself, quite an extraordinary thing,” said Blinken. “Showing the humanity, the care, the decency that really is America at its best, is a very, very powerful thing, and I know it makes all the difference.”

Church members hope others will be inspired by this multi-faith effort. As the season continues, they hope locals will give back in the spirit of the holidays.

“I would urge our community to come together and welcome these people that are arriving into an unknown land with literally nothing,” said Christiansen. “We just love this community that we live in and we love the opportunity as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to work with other faiths in lifting others and what a great opportunity this time of year.”

Church members are still accepting donations. To donate online, visit justserve.org or donate to their Amazon Wishlist, visit amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1S3AZ7A43KVV5?ref_=wl_share.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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