Volunteers with the Muslim Center of Greater Princeton have been working since August to support Afghan refugees at Fort Dix by collecting clothing and other needed items, volunteering at the military base in Burlington County, working on a plan to hire a social worker to support refugees long term, and helping refugees who have been resettled in the Princeton region.
The center is hosting another donation drive this Friday and Saturday, Dec. 10 and Dec. 11. You can also ship items to the center or deliver them to the center after the drive and they will still be taken to the military base.
Officials at Fort Dix have helped the center volunteers come up with a list of needed items. You can view the list on Amazon, and ship items directly to the center at 2030, Old Trenton Road, West Winsdor, New Jersey if you don’t want to deliver them in person.
Warm winter gloves and hats, wool socks, fleece blankets, boys underwear, women’s underpants and sports bras, earplugs, grocery carts, storage totes, watering cans, travel sewing kits, hot water bottles, insulated thermos containers, and “Hot Hands” hand warmers are on the list. The earplugs are needed because people are living in large tents with up to 400 people in one tent. The grocery carts will be given to families that have been resettled in our area.
Volunteer opportunities include: Making meals and welcome packages, volunteering in the center’s “store” for refugees, helping new refugees with transportation, translating, teaching refugees English, helping with donation drives, cleaning houses prior to a refugee’s arrival, taking refugees grocery shopping or clothing shopping, helping refugees find job opportunities, providing refugees with temporary or longer-term housing, technical training, and youth mentoring. You can sign up to become a volunteer via an online form.