Philadelphia nonprofit seeks modest clothing donations for Afghan refugees

Suggested donations include scarves for both men and women, long shirts, pants, tunics, and conservative dresses.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As one refugee who evacuated from Afghanistan years ago shared her story with Action News, she recalled one requirement for luggage: refugees could only bring one bag that weighed no more than 15 pounds. That doesn't leave much room for clothing.

Many Afghan refugees have been arriving in the Philadelphia area with only the clothes on their backs, but one local organization hopes you can help them.

The Wardrobe, a nonprofit with locations in Philadelphia and Lansdowne, Pa., is accepting clothing donations for refugees. The organization partnered with Nationalities Service Center, another local nonprofit that is helping Afghan refugees resettle in America.

"The last thing a relief agency on the ground dealing with things like getting people food and housing and medical care needs was having lots of (clothing) donations dropped in their lap," said Sheri Cole, Executive Director of The Wardrobe.

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Volunteers are collecting donations that keep culture in mind. That includes modest clothing for both men and women.

"We want modest clothing," said Cole. "We want to cover as much from your shoulders to your feet. Both men and women wear loose-fitting pants under their garments. So a woman might be wearing a tunic that comes to her knees but still have loose pants underneath."

Other suggested donations include scarves for both men and women, long shirts, pants, tunics, and conservative dresses. Cole adds that some of the refugees are open to wearing western clothing as long as it's conservative.

The group is also requesting donations of toiletries and new undergarments and socks.

SEE ALSO: Delaware County English teacher helps former student's family evacuate Afghanistan

The Wardrobe assembles the items into a box which they give to refugees after receiving information on preferences from Nationalities Service Center.

"(The box) will have three or four pairs of pants, shirts and sweaters," she said while displaying one box. "This one has a scarf that can be used as a headscarf. You can see we mixed and matched the colors because we want people to not only have the clothing they need every day but to feel good."

Donations are accepted on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at both of The Wardrobe's locations: 413 N. 4th Street in Philadelphia, and 62 W. Marshall Rd. in Lansdowne. Donations may also be dropped off on a different day by calling ahead at 215-568-6693.
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