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Hoosiers send donations to Pakistan to help survivors of devastating flooding

“It doesn’t matter which part of the globe the other people live ... everyone feels for each other. Everyone feels that pain."

INDIANAPOLIS — “It’s impossible to stop all of the water,” said Hafiz Umar as he spoke via FaceTime from Pakistan with friends in Indianapolis. 

Since July, Umar has only been able to watch the water keep coming, taking videos of it, as heavier than normal monsoon rains and melting glaciers flood the country of Pakistan where he lives. 

“They lost almost everything because they lost their cattle. They lost their houses,” Umar explained.  

According to the United States Institute of Peace, the flooding in Pakistan has left one-third of the country underwater and more than 1,000 dead, with tens of thousands more displaced. 

Credit: AP
FILE - Women carry belongings salvaged from their flooded home after monsoon rains, in the Qambar Shahdadkot district of Sindh Province, of Pakistan, Sept. 6, 2022. The war in Ukraine, the lingering coronavirus pandemic and climate change are putting intense pressure on the world's poorest, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan, file)

“The winter season is starting very soon here in Pakistan and a lot of people need houses because they cannot sleep under the sky,” Umar told family friend Rabia Khan.

Khan sat in Indianapolis, listening to Umar talk on FaceTime Tuesday, as he recounted the struggle to survive right now for so many in the country where Khan was also born.  

“I wish I could be there with him. I wish we could do something to change their lives,” Khan said of Umar and all the flooding survivors. 

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Tuesday afternoon, that wish was put into action as dozens of volunteers packed boxes of clothes to send to Pakistan.   

Sadia Maqsood helped organize the donations that have been pouring in since August. 

“There were mosques that donated. There were churches who donated warm dresses. We have high school kids who actually collected donations not only from their school, but also from their friends,” Maqsood explained. 

“We thought we could help by coordinating the logistics. So, we wanted to make sure that wherever their efforts are being spent, we can transport the products overseas for the donations to the people who are impacted the most,” explained Ammar Khan with Calderon Textiles, where donations have been stored until volunteers could pack them. 

Calderon is paying to ship the donations to Pakistan and also raising money to send them there. 

So far, employees have collected $10,000, according to Khan, but the goal is to raise $100,000 in aid. 

“First and foremost is the human element,” said Khan.   

“I want to make sure that people have the ability to eat every day, have shelter to take care of themselves,” he added. 

“It doesn’t matter which part of the globe the other people live ... everyone feels for each other. Everyone feels that pain,” said Maqsood. 

The hope is that what Hoosiers are sending in the boxes, can alleviate some of it.

“If we can do a small part in helping them live again, I think saving one person’s life, at least we can do that much,” Rabia Khan added. 


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