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Rotary District 5680 Refugee Project

Posted on January 22, 2022 by under Community, Projects.    

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Kathy Sexton from the Derby Rotary Club spoke to our club last week to talk about the Rotary District 5680 refugee project. Our nine area Rotary clubs are partnering with the Wichita office of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to help resettle hundreds of families fleeing Afghanistan and other crisis zones.

IRC helps refugees find homes, jobs, English classes, and connects them with resources to help them transition to their new environment. Refugees often arrive with nothing and need dishes, furniture, and other items for their new home.

The Rotary clubs in our District have committed to providing and assembling dinnerware, kitchen, cookware, and bathroom kits consisting of new and gently used items, and transporting kits, vacuums, and other household items. We are asking everyone for help in putting together these kits.

  • Dinnerware Kit: 8 place settings of dinner plates, salad plates, bowls, drinking glasses, mugs/teacups, and silverware
  • Kitchen Kit: 3 mixing bowls, 3+ kitchen knives, 3 cutting boards, 3+ plastic/glass storage containers, can opener, dish drying rack, 3+ cooking utensils, 2 oven mitts, 2 towels
  • Cookware Kit: 3+ pots and pans, stockpot, 3+ bakeware, tea kettle
  • Bathroom Kit: shower curtain, curtain rod and package of shower hooks, toilet brush and plunger, toothbrush holder, wastebasket

If you are downsizing or minimizing, then this is a great opportunity to put extra items that you no longer need to good use. Please consider donating items listed above that you no longer use. There is an immediate need as we are expecting hundreds of refugees to arrive in Wichita the coming weeks.

The IRC in Wichita is currently located at 1530 S. Oliver Suite 270 but they will be moving their office to a new location sometime in February. The IRC accepts kits Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. You an reach them at (316) 351-5495 or volunteerks@rescue.org to let them know that you’re coming by to drop off a donation.

If those days do not work for you, you can also deliver your donation to BRG Precision Products at 600 River Street (Derby, KS) through February 11. BRG can accept donations Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. It’s best to call them ahead of time at (316) 788-2000 to notify them that you’re dropping of a donation. They will give you parking/drop off instructions based on when you’re arriving to ensure that there are no conflicts with their normal business operations and other deliveries.

On Presidents Day (Monday, February 21), Rotarians will gather at the BRG office from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM to assemble all the donations received into the kits listed above. BRG will provide boxes, bubble wrap, and packing materials. Rotarians will deliver the completed kits to IRC on Saturday, February 26.

Kathy Sexton from the Derby Rotary Club is leading this effort. If you wish to donate, volunteer, or have questions, please contact her at sextonkbs@gmail.com or (316) 371-6451. Thank you in advance for supporting this initiative and helping us welcome refugees to their new homes.

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