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University School students are on a mission to help Afghan refugees now in Northeast Ohio

Three teens on a mission to help refugees
Posted at 5:21 PM, Feb 23, 2022

HUNTING VALLEY, Ohio — Three University School seniors are on a mission to help.

Kabir Gulati pays attention to the world around him and what’s unfolding in Afghanistan has moved him to help.

“I wanted to help out the Afghan refugees,” said Kabir Gulati. “I heard about the problem they’re having finding winter wear and assimilating into the community of Northeast Ohio."

At 17 years old, he already started the non-profit YouthUp. Kabir’s mother, Reema Gulati, wasn’t surprised at his latest idea.

“Kabir is a very empathic young man. He’s very aware and very conscious of inequalities and disparities, so because of his sensitive nature I wasn’t surprised when he said this is something he would like to do,” Gulati said.

The University School student turned to two classmates to launch a drive collecting necessities to help the refugees coming to Ohio feel at home.

“It’s very disheartening to see them leave their homeland and come to the United States and try to assimilate here. It’s very hard for people to do that,” said Aetan Parmar, University School senior.

The trio of friends have collected about $30,000 worth of needed items. So far, the three high school students have filled about seven cars worth of donations and delivered the donations to the Cleveland chapter of the United States Committee of Refugees and Immigrants.

“Just the amount of stuff that we’ve collected so far is really inspiring to me,” said Javan Cobb.

But the three friends aren’t done helping yet.

“These people really do need our help,” Kabir said.

YouthUp's most-needed items include blankets, comforters and general cleaning supplies.

Learn more about the non-profit and sign up to donate items here.

The teenagers even pick up the donations; they've spent their weekends crisscrossing the area collecting donations.

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