Fort McCoy, Tomah community work to help Afghan refugees
FORT MCCOY, Wis. (WMTV) - Fort McCoy told the public Tuesday that it is gathering information on how to help refugees that are being housed there.
The Army installation asked the public on Facebook to not contact them directly, and instead be patient for more information on volunteer opportunities and donations.
In the meantime, people are encouraged to contact their local Red Cross.
Fort McCoy also warned people of a fraud alert, saying no one from the federal government is allowed to solicit for donations or gifts with their refugee mission.
The Tomah Area School District is working closely with people at Fort McCoy to coordinate the plan for Afghan children to be welcomed into the district. District Superintendent Dr. Mike Hanson said there could be anywhere from 10-1,000 kids admitted.
“We’ll continue that work with the Afghan refugee population that comes in,” said Dr. Hanson. “If there’s trauma there we want to work with bridging any gaps with language barriers. There are many ways to do that and also any cultural barriers.”
Dr. Hanson explained that the mission to educate refugee children is personal for him, as his family housed a refugee family in the 1970s.
“I can imagine what they’re going through, so I feel a personal connection on that level with my family history and the duty we have,” he said.
The superintendent also said they are facing staffing shortages in the school already from the pandemic.
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