UW-La Crosse gathers toys for Afghan children at Fort McCoy

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse collected about 400 toys for Afghan children staying at Fort McCoy, distributing them to the refugees through Catholic Charities.

The campus-wide effort — started by UW-L math professor Susan Kelly — over a two-week period involved students, staff, faculty and community members.

“Providing our new Afghan neighbors a warm Wisconsin welcome is important as these families begin their lives in a new country,” says Lisa Klein, UW-L Community Engagement Coordinator. “The faculty, staff and students at UWL recognized this and were quick to ask how they could help those who have been displaced from their homes — their country — with little more than the clothes on their backs. This toy drive is just one small way for us to say welcome.”

Those still interested in donating toys and other items needed at Fort McCoy may use the Amazon Wishlist at https://a.co/b5Qm7lM. The list is set up by Team Rubicon, a national organization that serves vulnerable populations affected by disaster.

Along with collecting toys, numerous UWL faculty and staff have been working with higher education partners at Viterbo University and Western Technical College to educate the community on the Afghan people. A second education event scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, is titled “Getting to know our new Afghan neighbors: A live stream event.”  The live stream can be found at: www.viterbo.edu/afghansupport.

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