Salt Lake Rotary kicks off $100,000 fundraiser for resettlement of Afghan refugees in Utah

Utah will become home to more than 800 Afghan refugees this holiday season and stretching into the new year. Salt Lake Rotary Club has committed $25,000 to help meet the short and long term needs of these 150+ families with children and is asking every Utah Rotary Club and Utah Rotarian to donate to match these funds. There is a further match challenge that will raise the goal to $100,000 for this project.

Salt Lake Rotary Club has established a committee to liaise with the 48 other Utah Rotary Clubs, The Afghan Community Fund of The Community Foundation of Utah, Catholic Community Services of Utah, the International Rescue Committee, the Utah Muslim Civic League to bolster fundraising and track donations toward their goal made through this appeal. 

Afghan refugees, like most refugees, need gift cards to purchase food and everyday necessities, temporary housing as well as cell phones and computers. Organizations working with refugees need additional staffing on a temporary basis to support each family with completing documentation, providing legal assistance, accessing critical services and generally navigating a new country and culture.

“We are partnering with the Community Foundation of Utah, Rotarians and the public to raise funds for the Utah Afghan Community Fund. We are hopeful that contributions will match (double) the amount raised by the Utah Rotary community for a total goal of $100,000” said Scott Rosenbush, President of Salt Lake City Rotary Club 24.

“The outpouring of community support for the Utah Afghan Community Fund has been extraordinary, and a testament to Utah’s welcoming spirit. Given this strong support, we are optimistic funds can be raised to match contributions from local Rotary Clubs” said Ian Shelledy, Director of the Community Foundation of Utah.  

The second stage of this project is to address the long term needs of these immigrants. This project asks Utah Rotarians if their company / organization can help by hiring these new residents. As local businesspeople, Rotarians are uniquely positioned to assist in this effort. The Salt Lake Rotary Club has two members whose companies have offered employment to multiple immigrants once they are ready. 

Rotarians and clubs – or anyone – can make tax deductible donations for this project through The Salt Lake City Rotary Foundation, an IRS 501(c)3 charity. To make a donation please contact Denise Johnsen via email at [email protected].

“Utah has always been a welcoming state for refugees. With the exception of our Native American brothers and sisters, we are all immigrants,” says Utah Rotary District Governor Judy Zone. “This holiday season I know Utah Rotarians and clubs will give generously – as they always do – to support our new neighbors.” 

If you want to make a tax-deductible contribution toward this project through the Salt Lake City Rotary Foundation (an IRS 501(c)3 charity) or if you would like to employ an Afghan refugee, contact Scott Rosenbush, President of the Salt Lake City Rotary Club 24 – phone: 801-901-0973; email: [email protected].