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Announcing our Support for Afghan Refugees in Partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate rapidly. Already, around 550,000 people—80% of them women and children—have been displaced by conflict this year. Many Afghans say they fear for their lives.

More than 18 million people in Afghanistan require humanitarian aid—a number that has doubled since 2020. Fifty percent of Afghans in need are women and girls. But aid funding has fallen far short. The world must not turn its back on Afghanistan.

This Afghan mother of four received cash assistance from the IRC after her husband, an architect, struggled to find work during an economic crisis tied to a major drought. Photo by Stefanie Glinksi for IRC

How you can help:  

  • Join us in supporting the IRC, a longstanding and highly respected Cotopaxi nonprofit partner, by donating to the Afghanistan fund to provide urgently needed support to Afghans across the arc of the crisis, including inside Afghanistan where needs are most acute, and in countries including the US where Afghan refugees are being resettled. 
  • Participate with us in the IRC’s Warm Welcome Winter Clothing Drive. By donating clean, new or like-new winter clothing, you are supporting newly arrived refugee adults and children as they strive to regain control of their future and thrive in their new community. Cotopaxi will be taking clothing donations for the IRC at all our retail locations. Click here to find a Cotopaxi store near you. To donate clothing directly to the IRC, click here.
  • Volunteer locally with the IRC and show your solidarity with Afghan refugees in your community. 

    A farming family in Afghanistan who had to flee their home due to drought. Photo by Stefanie Glinksi for IRC

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: How does the IRC work to resettle refugees in America? What challenges do Afghan and different refugees face?

    A: The IRC has more than 20 offices across the United States that support newly arrived refugees by providing immediate aid, including food, housing and medical attention. 

    Each resettlement office serves as a free, one-stop center for refugees’ needs during their pivotal first months in the U.S. Through a network of staff members and volunteers, the IRC helps refugees learn about life and customs in America, secure jobs, learn English, and become citizens. The IRC provides most of the basic things they need to restart their lives here and we help them overcome cultural barriers so that their adjustment is as easy as possible.

    Through community gardening, nutrition education, and small-business farming, the IRC's New Roots program gives hundreds of refugee farmers the tools and training they need to grow healthy and affordable food and become self-sufficient.

    To learn more about how we select our grantees, please visit here

    Q: This issue is highly political here in the U.S.and is receiving a lot of news coverage. Why has Cotopaxi decided to take a stand on this particular topic

    A: First and foremost, this is a humanitarian crisis. At Cotopaxi, we affirm the equal dignity of all people and have always planted our flag alongside refugees. Further, displacement from human-caused crises is one of the greatest drivers of global poverty. To effectively counteract economic inequality, we must assist refugees. We also acknowledge that much of the current conflict and instability occurring in Afghanistan was exacerbated by the United States’ intervention and drawdown. Because of this, we feel compelled to help with resettlement of these refugees in America.

    Q: How do you decide which humanitarian crises to support?

    A: There are moments when we feel we must stand up and use our networks to help those in need. Specifically,we activate when:

    • A situation has impacted more than 5 million people, consequently creating a refugee crisis
    • The situation was caused by human intervention (as opposed to a natural disaster)

    As an example, Cotopaxi has been actively assisting response and resettlement for Venezuelan refugees since 2018. 

    Q: How are you ensuring that the money you are donating is reaching people who need it and not falling into the wrong hands?

    A: 100% of the money generated by our efforts will be donated directly to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a longstanding and highly respected Cotopaxi nonprofit partner. With your support, the IRC will be able to reach more Afghan people at a crucial period.