Wis. groups seek donations for incoming refugees

  • Associated Press
  • February 16, 2014 - 5:30 PM

APPLETON, Wis. — Several community groups are collecting donations for 75 refugees expected to relocate in Appleton this year from Congo, Iraq and Myanmar.

Lawrence University bought an office building downtown where the donations will be collected, the Post-Crescent Media reported ( ). The school is loaning the space to the Fox Cities Kiwanis as well as World Relief Fox Valley, a refugee-resettlement agency based in Oshkosh.

"We're still sorting out our plans for the long-term future of the building, so rather than let it sit vacant we saw this as a good opportunity," school spokesman Jake Woodford said.

Some 75 refugees are expected to arrive in Appleton this year, while another 60 are expected to settle in Menasha and Neenah.

The Fox Cities Kiwanis are leading a furniture drive. They're looking for chairs, lamps, dressers and other furnishings.

"We're asking for clean usable items for apartments so we can help our new neighbors start life in their new homes," Kiwanis member Jean Long Manteufel said.

Donations will be accepted during designated hours on Feb. 22, March 1 and March 4.

The refugee resettlements follow decades of relocations to the Fox Cities area by Hmong refugees. The Appleton-based Hmong-American Partnership is assisting with the resettlements, drawing upon its own experiences helping its own community relocate.

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