Fort Wayne’s Indiana National Guard Armory joined eight others this week in opening to collect new clothing from the public for Afghans evacuated to Indiana.
The armory at 130 W. Cook Road is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The most critical need is for cold-weather clothing and baby formula.
At the armories, Indiana National Guardsmen and Indiana Guard Reserve volunteers are accepting the following new items:
• Men’s and women’s unbranded, modest clothes such as long sleeve T-shirts, underwear, pants, jackets and coats in sizes small to large. No shorts or tank tops.
• Children’s clothing, including baby and newborn clothes, hats and socks
• Baby formula
• Socks, hats, shoes and slide-on sandals, no flip-flops, for evacuees of all ages
All items must be new and in their original packaging.
Other new items to consider donating include baby diapers, coloring books, crayons and toys.
Indiana Department of Correction and Indiana Department of Transportation personnel, with coordination from the State Emergency Operations Center and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, are ensuring the donations are delivered to Camp Atterbury.
The Afghan evacuees, who escaped their country after the government fell to the Taliban, are temporarily housed at Camp Atterbury.
Team Rubicon, a national organization that mobilizes veterans to help during humanitarian crisis, this week opened a drop-off site across the road from Camp Atterbury at the Johnson County Parks and Recreation Amphitheater.
“The need is there, and we can help,” Michael Martel, a Team Rubicon operations associate for Task Force Atterbury, said. “It’s important to lend a hand and pull people up. That is what America is about, and that is what Team Rubicon does. It’s important to help, for no other reason than just because it’s needed.”