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

Salt Lake Rotary kicks off $100,000 fundraiser for resettlement of Afghan refugees in Utah, challenges all Utah Rotarians to donate to help Afghan families settle in our state

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 settle these 150+ families with children and is asking every Utah Rotary Club and Utah Rotarian to donate to match these funds.

“Every day we are having people arriving, and the goal is to have all the Afghans settled by the beginning of next year,” says Aden Batar, Director of Migration and Refugee Services for Catholic Community Services of Utah.

Over 150 families with children of all ages will become Utah residents, having cleared the vetting process at various military bases within the U.S. Over 40,000 Afghans have been flown into the U.S.

$25,000 Salt Lake Rotary commitment & overall fundraising goal of $100,000

Salt Lake Rotary Club has established a committee to oversee the fundraising and distribution of funds to help resettle Afghan refugees in Utah.

Salt Lake Rotary Club has committed $25,000 toward this service project to meet short and long term needs of Afghan refugees arriving in Utah.

Salt Lake Rotary Club is challenging all Rotary Clubs and Rotarians in District 5420 (Utah) to contribute what they can in order to match this amount – for a total Rotary donation of $50,000. If you or your club would like to help, please contact Duane Millard via email at

Salt Lake Rotary will need to track donations toward this project. Please let us know if you make a direct donation to the recipient organizations by sending an email to Duane Millard at This is important for our match challenge and so that we can alert District Governor, Judy Zone, when we meet or exceed the goal.

Rotarians and clubs can make tax deductible donations for this project through The Salt Lake City Rotary Foundation, an IRS 501(c)3 charity. Please contact the Salt Lake City Rotary Foundation through John Ashton via email at or Denise Johnsen via email at

The Community Foundation of Utah has recently announced the Utah Afghan Community Fund (

Salt Lake Rotary is working with the Utah Community Foundation, to match these eventual $50,000 in donations, meeting the goal of $100,000 total in fundraising. “The outpouring of community support for our Utah Afghan Community Fund,” says Director Ian Shelledy, “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.”

The Community Foundation offers donors the unique opportunity to contribute appreciated securities toward this project. This donation strategy can have desirable tax implications for some donors. Please see below for more information about this fund. For more information from the Community Foundation of Utah contact Ian Shelledy via email at or Micaela Walker via email at

Recipients of Funds:

Catholic Community Services of Utah – Refugee Resettlement program;

International Rescue Committee

Utah Muslim Civic League

Short term efforts: Funds are needed to help families settle into our communities.

Gift cards to Walmart are one of the items requested by Catholic Community Services. Walmart operates a foundation and one of their areas of interest is Local Community Support – Strengthening the Community. The Salt Lake City Rotary Foundation will file an application for a matching grant from the Walmart Foundation for the maximum amount available ($5,000). If granted, the award would be used to increase the goal, from $50,000 (Salt Lake Rotary + other Utah Clubs) to $55,000.

Recent immigrants will also benefit from gift cards to purchase food and everyday necessities. Funds are also needed for cell phones and computers as well as temporary housing. Additional staffing (on a temporary basis to deal with the temporary flood of immigrants) is needed to provide support for each family to complete documentation and legal representation. Given the evolving and dynamic nature of this issue, it is possible funds may be used to for specific needs beyond what is listed here.

Donated funds will be directed for use resettling Afghan immigrants that are legally brought to Utah through the efforts of the US Government.

Utah Rotarians may want to directly donate Walmart gift cards, or send check donations toward new warm winter clothing – delivered or mailed to Aden Batar, Director Migration & Refugee Resettlement, Catholic Community Services of Utah 224 North 2200 West, Salt Lake City, Utah 84116.

Items on this Amazon wish list are needed.

Long Term Efforts – Once settled and documented, immigrants will need to find employment in order to support their families and become productive members of society.

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

If your business would like to provide employment opportunities to refugees from Afghanistan residing in Utah please contact the International Rescue Committee or Catholic Community Services.

More information about the Afghan Community Fund, Community Foundation of Utah

The Afghan Community Fund was established as a public-private partnership to address refugee resource gaps that were identified through an in-depth analysis conducted by the fund’s committee members. This funding will provide for special needs for women and children, legal support, healthcare, education, and more.

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