From: Hannah Harper



About an hour and a half away from Winona, is a community that is booming with population. Yes, around 13,000 to be exact, according to Wisconsin Public Radio. Afghan refugees call Fort McCoy home now, and local communities like Winona, are paying attention. Afghans in Fort McCoy need more assistance. This is relevant to the Winona community due to a recent article also in the Winona Post by Chris Rogers, on October 27, 2021, which reflected on the 4-3 vote in favor of support of Afghan refugees in the community. Fort McCoy is a home away from home for Afghan refugees right now and Winonans need to embrace the fact that we are all human despite wherever we come from and we all need food, clothing, and shelter — basic needs of survival. 

Winona is home. Winonans value life. Winonans value opportunity. Winonans value a progressive atmosphere to raise a family and build a future. We need to support the Afghan population here in Winona. Winona is a beautiful location in the United States of America to start a life, build a community and a place to get politically, economically, socially, physically, and spiritually involved. 

I argue that Winona needs to provide a substantial amount of relief from the support of the City Council, whether a city-wide clothing drive, goodwill donation and food donation drop-off centers near city buildings, language services, resettlement integration support, resources to help a path to citizenship, women’s sanitary products, and children’s clothing. This needs to be accomplished because there are children, families, women, and humans in Fort McCoy that need assistance in basic need support and resettling into local communities.

There are futures that need to be built here in the United States. Humans need the freedom to work, attend a church, live, have an education, go to school, just like every Winonan. Winonans need to be aware, reinvest in the future, and get involved in supporting local Afghan refugees to raise Winona as a place that welcomes everyone even during a COVID-19 pandemic and when winter is approaching soon. To new life, to the future, to freedom, to the Constitution, to the law, to Winona, to the United States of America. Please consider donating to these organizations: American Red Cross, Team Rubicon, International Rescue Committee, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse, and Salvation Army.