Dear Editor,

With great turmoil, the US government pulled our forces out of Afghanistan last August, as the Taliban took control. This led to a mass exodus of refugees, with about 85,000 eventually coming to America. Initially housed on US Army bases, by February they gradually dispersed into communities throughout the country, one family at a time. They were helped by non-profit immigration agencies and volunteer Sponsor Circles. The absorption of so many in such a short time, with little government assistance, represents the greatest humanitarian effort here since the Underground Railroad assisted thousands from slavery to freedom.

The Hudson Valley has done its part in this herculean effort. From Westchester to Albany, Circles spontaneously sprung up, meeting the call for humanitarian action and personal commitment. Over a dozen Afghan refugee families, arriving penniless and alone, have been welcomed, resettled and integrated into our towns and cities. Locally, the Afghan Circle of the Hudson Valley has assisted refugees to fortunately find a safe haven here after  literally being hunted by the Taliban. Supporting our Circle, we’ve had the assistance of dozens of non-profit organizations, service providers, local companies, and generous donations from over 160 people. Our task only starts when families arrive, as we need to fully support them, find them medical care, get them proper paperwork and help them find jobs. Soon, we will be assisting another family coming here in dire straits. If you’d like to assist them in any way, please go to  and drop us a line. A life-line.

Tash akur (Thank you in Dari)

Harv Hilowitz
Founder Afghan Circle of the Hudson Valley