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Cedar Falls Christian Church holds clothing drive for Afghanistan refugees

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) -- As Afghanistan refugees take shelter at military camps across the country, many are arriving with just the clothes on their backs.

The Red Cross provides food and blankets to refugees, but not clothes. At Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, per military guidelines all clothes have to be new or near new in order to be accepted.

After Leslie Farley delivered clothes to a refugee herself, she knew she had to do something to help.

"At night the Afghans are wearing their blankets, when it's so cool. And a lot of them just came with flip flops, so they don't have appropriate shoes, they don't have appropriate socks, these are things we know they need urgently," Farley said.

After that delivery, Farley returned home and talked with her church, the Cedar Falls Christian Church, to organize a clothing drive for Fort McCoy refugees. In just two weeks, the church has garnered clothes from across the state, filling up a horse trailer.

"As far away as Cedar Rapids, Oelwein, Dysart, you name it, Parkersburg, people have been bringing things."

As the colder weather begins to creep in, Farley is grateful for all the help.

"All of us together, can make a huge impact, and that's what we were hoping for," Farley said.

The church also raised money, to fill in the gaps from what was donated, like underwear, socks, etc. The church doesn’t plan on continuing the drive for now, but was happy to give the support they could in this short time

"We care about their plight, and we want to support them," Farley said.

Farley stays connected with the first refugee she donated to, and says he feels great knowing so many more were eager to help out people like him.

The trailer will leave for Wisconsin in the next week. Anyone who would like to donate towards Afghan refugees can visit The Red Cross’ website.

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