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Nonprofit expecting to welcome around 80,000 Afghan refugees in US over the next couple years

Published: Aug. 22, 2021 at 11:02 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2021 at 9:44 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - As the United States continues to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies out of Afghanistan, a Savannah nonprofit is preparing to welcome refugees to the Coastal Empire.

Inspiritus has been welcoming refugees for more than 40 years in Georgia. The nonprofit’s CEO John Moeller said over the course of the next year, there could be around 80,000 refugees coming to the US at any moment.

Moeller said the images of Afghanistan right now are painful, especially for their refugee staff with ties to the country. Their staff and volunteers are preparing to welcome Afghan allies who find a way out.

“Former intelligence, engineers, doctors, attorneys, who have all worked assisting the U.S. Military there over the last 20 years. Their lives are in danger so we’re getting ready to welcome them,” said Moeller.

He added his team receives daily on-the-ground reports of what’s happening.

“The real sadness is that we’re in touch with those folks and they’re hiding in dark places. They cannot get access to the airport in Kabul and they’re not sure if they’re really gonna get out at all,” Moeller said.

Inspiritus has raised around $4,000 dollars so far, but Moeller said that’s just a drop in the bucket. A lot of these families are coming here with only the clothes on their backs.

“They are grateful that they have their very lives and maybe some of their family, their children, but they will start with nothing. They will show up at the Inspiritus office and it will be our duty and honor to welcome them and help them secure some housing,” Moeller said.

Inspiritus said this is an opportunity for the community to step up. They are asking families to consider housing refugees as they transition.

If you would like to help Inspiritus, email Sarah.Burke@weinspirit.org. To make a donation, visit their Facebook page.

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