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Rochester man volunteers to help Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy

FORT MCCOY, Wisc. (FOX 47) -- Many people are volunteering time and resources to help Afghan evacuees at Fort McCoy. Ben Harris of Rochester is one of these people. Harris is volunteering with Team Rubicon, a disaster response organization founded by two Marines in 2010.

Harris got to tour Fort McCoy for the first time earlier this week, and he says it's a really nice area with good living conditions.

Harris says the Afghan people are very thankful and happy to be at the base and have been very friendly during interactions.

Team Rubicon is currently supporting the management of donated goods and setting up the logistics at each donation point for collections.

Harris says there has been so much generosity of people donating clothes and shoes, but he does say many items are either too big or are not culturally appropriate, like shorts and tank tops.

As we head into the winter season, there is also a need for winter jackets and boots.

"For the winter apparel, even the larges are a little bit too big, but it allows them to layer up," Harris said. "So we look for small, mediums and sometimes larges in those sweatshirts and winter coats. Then for shoes we try to keep it a size 9 and below for mens and about a size 8 and below for womens."

Harris said the number one way you can help is by donating money or purchasing specific items from the refugees' wish lists.

You can also volunteer your time, as there is a need for more volunteers right now.

Sarah Gannon

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