Kent Community Foundation creates Afghan Crisis Fund

Kick-off event Sept. 23 at Olive Tree Mediterranean Restaurant

The Olive Tree Mediterranean Restaurant. COURTESY PHOTO

As hundreds of people arrive in the greater Kent area from Afghanistan due to relocation efforts, the Kent Community Foundation is launching an Afghan Crisis Fund to provide meals, medical treatment, basic resources and other support to help meet the needs of these newcomers.

A special kick-off fundraiser is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23 at Olive Tree Mediterranean Restaurant, 12930 SE Kent-Kangley Road.

Zana Abdulaziz, co-owner of Olive Tree and a member of the Kent Community Foundation Board, has pledged a minimum of $1,000 from the proceeds of items purchased on Sept. 23 to the Afghan Crisis Fund. Many years ago, his family relocated to the United States from Kurdistan giving him first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced by people coming here from another culture.

“We want to help and give back,” Abdulaziz said. “Our customers have helped us during the difficult last year and now we want to help others.”

Representatives from the Kent Community Foundation will be on hand throughout the event to provide additional information and to facilitate donations to the fund.

“After talking with several of the resettlement agencies and support groups focused on helping the incoming Afghans, we know there are many gaps,” said Dave Mitchell, interim executive director of the Kent Community Foundation. “We plan to use money from this fund to enable local nonprofits to fill the gaps and better serve the people being relocated here.”

Nonprofits can apply for grants from the Kent Community Foundation’s Afghan Crisis Fund at kentcommunityfoundation.org.

Donations are welcome from the community. Donate via the Kent Community Foundation website under the donate option at Afghan Crisis Fund.

The Kent Community Foundation was established in 1986. The Foundation’s mission is to strengthen and support our community through partnerships and philanthropy. The Foundation has awarded about $1 million in scholarships and cultural arts grants since it began.

In 2020, the Kent Community Foundation led the establishment of the Kent Community Partners which includes over 50 organizations committed to work together – across historical divides – to serve people in need.


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