ROCHESTER, N.Y. — As refugees from Afghanistan begin to arrive in Rochester, it's all hands on deck as organizations prepare to welcome them.
Inside Saint’s Place in Pittsford, volunteers spend hours every day sorting through hundreds of donated items.
Associate director Michelle Quinn works to give incoming families practical items, like extra sets of dishes and clothes in good condition.
"We have a formula of what we set up with a family,” Quinn explained. “If we have a family of six, we give them two of everything. We’re always running short of certain things.”
Catholic Family Center in downtown Rochester works with Saint’s Place.
Lisa Hoyt runs the refugee and immigration program. She says that it’s not necessarily the amount of refugees coming in, but instead, how quickly they’re arriving.
“We’re finding out at 10 a.m. we have an arrival, and we’re thankful they have a layover in JFK and won't arrive until seven or eight [p.m.] so we can get things organized,” she said.
Typically, staff at Catholic Family Center get a week or two notice before a family arrives.
Last week, they helped 30 people get settled into Rochester.
Saint's Place accepts donations Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The items they need most are blankets, bedding for twin beds and kitchen supplies.