Franklin Co. good samaritans donate over 28 boxes of supplies for Afghan refugees

Marissa Ventrelli
The Ottawa Herald

Franklin Countians have donated nearly 30 boxes of humanitarian supplies to Afghan refugees in the past week, County Sheriff Jeff Richards is proud to announce. Richards said he got the idea to donate items to refugees after speaking with a military friend of his who told him about the evacuation in Afghanistan. He decided to enlist the help of his deputies and other Sheriff's Office employees. "When you get into the kind of work we're in, we're all about serving people, and I did not want to cheat everybody else out of the opportunity to help out," Richards explained. Staff members spread the word to their friends and family, and a week later, 28 boxes filled with food, hygiene products, blankets, and other essentials were ready to be shipped to Air Force bases in Afghanistan and refugee camps in Texas and New Mexico.

Stuffed animals and other supplies donated by community members for Afghan refugees

The Sheriff's Office is still taking donations, and those who are able to can also make monetary donations to the Sheriff's Foundation, which will send the funds to an organization started by a Franklin County couple stationed at a base in Afghanistan that is holding evacuees. A portion of the proceeds will also go toward American troops still in Afghanistan, many of whom are having to live in tent villages as they evacuate civilians, Richards says. 

The Sheriff says he has been "blown away" by the generosity of the people in Franklin County. "To be honest, we thought we'd probably get two or three boxes of stuff and then maybe just ship it over, but this has been remarkable," Several people have made donations to pay for shipping costs, and the project doesn't use any taxpayer funds. "We've just been blessed to be able to be a part of this," Richards said, "it's a good effort from the entire community. It's good to see everybody come together."

To inquire about making a donation, call the Franklin County Sheriff's Office at 785-229-1200.