An Owasso woman is collecting donations for Afghan refugees moving to Oklahoma. She hopes to make their lives just a little bit easier as they start over in America.
A room inside Alyssa McClellan's home has become a sort-of donation center in just a matter of days.
"It's like Christmas. But for me, honestly, I feel like it’s more exciting than Christmas. There's just something about knowing that these are going to someone that needs them at this time,” McClellan said.
She is collecting hygiene and cleaning products for the nearly 2,000 Afghan refugees expected to soon become Oklahomans, after fleeing Afghanistan with next to nothing.
"When I found out refugees were coming here, I was like, 'I've got to do something because I haven't heard anything of people collecting donations,” she said.
She is collecting items like body wash, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, menstrual products (pads only), diapers and wipes, hand sanitizer, dish soap and Clorox wipes. She said people can either schedule a time to drop off donations, or have items sent straight to her house by ordering online from her Amazon wish list.
McClellan plans to keep filling up the room in her house with donations for about two more weeks, then give everything to CAIR Oklahoma on October 1st.
CAIR, which stands for Council on American-Islamic Relations, asks anyone who is interested in collecting donations, to reach out to them and coordinate like McClellan did.
The nonprofit is also collecting clothing in all sizes. With winter around the corner, the organization would like to give families coats, hats and gloves, too. The only thing CAIR asks people not to donate at this time, is furniture.
"Anyone can do this. I know that a lot of people want to help. And if you want to help, then start one in your area. Because the more donations, the more we can help,” McClellan said.
As McClellan keeps track of her inventory, she looks forward to more packages showing up at her house, knowing the essential items will eventually be in someone else's home.
If you would like to contact McClellan, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To see her Amazon wish list, click here.