“We just want them to feel like now this is your home, you are my neighbor, and neighbors help neighbors,” said Rupal Thanawal, president of the alliance.
With that sentiment in mind, Thanawal says, the alliance took to social media to ask for culturally appropriate clothing donations for the refugees. She said the idea of the clothing drive came to her when she was volunteering at Camp Atterbury and noticed many of the refugees did not have access to ethnic clothing.
“So it’s about the religious belief, cultural belief, and just what makes them happy,” Thanawal said.
Thanawal says the refugees are very thankful for everything they have received so far. Having culturally appropriate clothing makes them feel comfort.
“Before I know, I had 10 collection centers throughout the town,” she said.
The alliance started receiving so many donations, Thanawal eventually had to find a trailer to transport the large amount of clothing. Thankfully, she found one and says she’s been offered more help than she could have ever expected.
A volunteer, Bobby Sponsel said, “I mean they don’t really have anything else, so given the first view of America and seeing that people are giving things, I think it’s the best view of America at these times right now.”