FORT MADISON – The First Christian Church in Fort Madison is collecting personal care items (toothpaste, shampoo, etc.) and winter gear (hats, gloves, etc.) to help with the refugee ministry of the Catherine McAuley Center (CMC) in Cedar Rapids.
The center is overflowing with refugees from Afghanistan. Since their Afghan assistance program was created to provide resettlement services this fall, they have welcomed 130 Afghans to Eastern Iowa, almost double the number of refugees they resettled in all of last year. In fact, 85 of these newcomers arrived in just two weeks around Thanksgiving.
According to church officials, refugee arrivals are normally spaced out throughout the year, arrivals of Afghans have been expedited to allow the government to close the military bases where Afghans have been staying. CMC could still receive up to 250 Afghans this year, plus 150 refugees from other countries.
Donations may be dropped off at the church (608 10th Street) between now and January 6th. Church hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to noon.
For more information go to: Update: Housing and Other Services for Afghans/Catherine McAuley Center (cmc-cr.org).