By Michael Abeyta

NORTHGLENN, Colo. (CBS4)– The Metro Denver North Islamic Center Masjid Ikhlas’ refugee donation program was born during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lailey Hashem the Vice President of the Metro Denver North Islamic Center was volunteering at a clinic when she saw a family walk in that looked like they had fallen on hard times.

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“A family of six kids walked into the clinic with slippers on in the snow and I was like, ‘Wow, what is going on here?’”

She asked them about their situation, and they told her they were refugees.

“We just arrived 2 weeks ago. We don’t have any of that stuff,” she says they told her.

She decided to collect donations for them and soon the operation grew to serve other families.

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“It started from one family and we are very grateful we are helping all around the world,” Hashem says.

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Now with more than 800 Afghan refugees coming to Colorado, they have been called on for their biggest operation yet. Helping these families get on their feet.

They made a call for donations and the community showed up. Last weekend hundreds of cars dropped off enough donations to fill two rooms at the mosque. Ayesha Ansari the coordinator for the donation drive says they are grateful for all the help.

“We’ve been fortunate the community has donated a lot of things,” Ansari says. “Right now, we have plenty of items to help the first wave of families that will be coming in.”

They know they will need more, but they don’t have room to store it all.

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“We have been telling people to just hold onto things for us,” says Hashem.

They have also been telling people they can donate money. They need it as well to help with things like rent assistance, job placement and perishable food items. They have set up a fundraising page for that.

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If you would like to donate you can do so here: https://gofund.me/0a6cd775.

Michael Abeyta