Wayland resident Karen Montague has been volunteering with International Institute of New England (IINE) in their efforts to resettle many Afghan families that started arriving in October. The amazing staff at IINE are working 24/7 with a small army of volunteers helping to get these folks settled and on the road to a much better future. The needs are great, as they arrived with next to nothing. Affordable housing, furnishings, food and warm clothing, work permits, healthcare, english lessons and getting the kids registered for school are the agency’s priority. Toys may not be considered essential with all the other needs, but these families have been cooped up in hotels while apartments are secured. Once they get into apartments, toys will help keep them occupied while parents get settled. The kids are amazing in how resilient they are given the chaos they’ve endured as refugees.
IINE is conducting a toy drive. These are families of the Muslim faith and conservative in their ways and dress. Toys needed are:
- Those with directions that are self-explanatory where English is not needed (ie not board games),
- Developmental play toys, (ie Melissa and Doug brand),musical toys, simple puzzles, shape toys, wood blocks, Lincoln Logs, Duplos, Legos, trucks, matchbox cars, dolls with dark hair and eyes, stuffed animals.
- Used toys in excellent condition.
- Please – no frilly dress up clothes, pretend make-up, action figures, violent games, nerf guns, or army figurines.
A toy registry has been set up at Cloud Nine Toys in Sudbury, which is going out of business after 40+ years. They have a list of appropriate toys ranging from $15 – $50. You can call and order and pay over the phone or visit the store. They will hold these items for Karen. Alternatively, you can pick up new toys wherever you shop and/or used toys in excellent condition and drop them off at Karen’s house at 9 Erwin Rd. (short dirt road off Pelham Island that dead ends into her driveway). Please leave them on the front porch on the left.