INDIANAPOLIS — As Afghan refugees settle into Camp Atterbury, volunteers continue to need donations for families including clothing, hygiene products and items for winter.
American Legion Auxiliary Unit 249 is helping fill those needs through community donations.
"It means so much to me to know that we are able to do something in return to tell them thanks," said Amy Harwell with American Legion Auxiliary Unit 249.
Back in September, the auxiliary unit helped donate boxes of food in partnership with the Indianapolis Urban League. Together they filled 40 boxes of food for evacuees.
Since then, they received about $1,500 more in donations. On Thursday, Harwell took that money and purchased much-needed clothing and supplies for families and children.
"I think there is no better way to tell the community thank you and show them what the money has been spent on," Harwell said. "From the bottom of my heart, I thank each and every one that has stepped up to the plate."
For veterans, Harwell said this is their way of saying "thank you" after many of the evacuees were allies for troops in Afghanistan by helping them interrupt and navigate the culture.
"I think the least we can do for them is to return the favor," Harwell said. "I cannot say how grateful I am to the Afghan people who have helped our veterans while they were over there. They opened their arms, their hearts and their minds to help us."
It's a small token of Hoosier hospitality that’s making a big impact on thousands of families.
"This has given us an opportunity to think about other people than ourselves and for those that have opened their hearts, their hands to do this, I am most grateful," Harwell said.
American Legion Auxiliary Unit 249 is still accepting donations. You can drop them off at 2523 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. or contact them here.