Gwynedd Mercy University Joins Forces with Catholic Social Services on Donation Drive for Afghan Refugees

Afghan refugee collection
Image via Gwynedd Mercy University.

Gwynedd Mercy University is partnering with Catholic Social Services to complete a donation drive to benefit the Afghan Placement and Assistance Program, writes Lauren Yancer for

The program helps Afghan evacuees with services before they arrive in the United States and upon their arrival. CSS provides support for basic needs, housing, employment, and health care. Many arrived with absolutely nothing except the clothes they were wearing.

Karalyn Derstein from Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School came up with the idea to connect the various Sisters of Mercy institutions within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for the donation drive and other incentives that would help Afghan refugees.

The effort was named the “Mercy Refugee Collaboration” by the participating institutions.

Gwynedd Mercy University’s Campus Ministry organized the donation drive to coincide with Work for Justice Week.

“This drive is a concrete expression of our heritage as a Catholic institution rooted in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy,” said Jeff Wallace, Director of Campus Ministry. “It demonstrates our commitment to the Biblical injunction to ‘welcome the stranger’ in the book of Deuteronomy and perform the corporal ‘works of Mercy’ set forth by Jesus Christ in the gospel of Matthew.”

Read more about Gwynedd Mercy University’s work for Afghan Refugees here.