MCC donation drive helps newcomers from Afghanistan settle in Rochester

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BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — Students, faculty, and staff at Monroe Community College are helping newcomers from Afghanistan start their lives in the Rochester area.

Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Project, a student-run organization, led an on campus effort to secure donations of school supplies.

HGHRP helped deliver 50 backpacks full of school supplies, donated by MCC members, to Keeping Our Promise, a Pittsford-based resettlement program for Afghan, Iraqi and Kurdish interpreters and support personnel. The backpacks will be distributed to newly arrived Afghan families.

MCC officials say the campaign began after MCC alumnus and Afghan native Sulaiman Limar met with HGHRP student leaders earlier this year to discuss the adversity Afghan families were facing.

Within two weeks of the drive held in early November, HGHRP collected more than200 school supply items, including notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, erasers, scissors and glue sticks. Backpacks donated by Marvel Entertainment helped fill the need.

“We stand big on the protection of human rights. Seeing that all these people were going to be displaced in a new country, we knew we needed to do something to help them get comfortable in their new space,” said Sandra Griffith, a vice president and alumna member of HGHRP. “We have all these children and teens starting school. Some of them may grow up to attend MCC. So we want to be able to nurture their learning and have the supplies they need to succeed and to take the pressure off parents so they can focus on getting acclimated to their new space.”

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