Carol Williams is the project’s leader in Ponte Vedra.

As a young mother in the 1970s, Carol Williams watched television clips of Vietnamese refugees fleeing for their lives, wading out to sea with their children on their shoulders, pleading for asylum aboard U.S. ships. Moved by their desperation, she felt called by God to help, and successfully assisted a family with seven children obtain food, clothing, housing, and employment to start new lives in America.

Now, Williams is answering God’s call again. Last summer, watching video of Afghanistan refugees desperately trying to flee their country amid the chaos of U.S. withdrawal, she realized a horrible sense of deja vu. She quickly organized a group of like-minded volunteers, then through a network of military veterans, connected with a family that escaped Afghanistan and need help resettling.

The family includes a young man, his wife, their infant daughter, and a female cousin. Williams and the resettlement team secured an apartment  in Ponte Vedra Beach, furnishings, even a car, and now they are asking for additional help from the community. “We are helping a family with a baby, who are homeless, fleeing danger in their homeland,” she emailed to her volunteers on Christmas Day. “I am touched by the similarity of our situation with that of the Christmas Story. How blessed are we to be a part of that?”

The young father served as a U.S.-trained Black Hawk helicopter pilot with the Afghan Air Force, speaks perfect English, and was also an interpreter. He has a degree in civil engineering “and is a wonderful man,” whose goal is to become an American citizen, Williams says. A U.S. pilot who worked with him in Afghanistan wrote that “under fire he was reliable, articulate, and highly respected by his peers.” His wife and cousin do not speak English, but they are expert seamstresses who want to start an online clothing business with a donated sewing machine. The couple’s four month old baby girl Dunya (her name means “world”)  was born on a US Military C130 flight during the evacuation of Kabul.

“The family is here and settled into a lovely apartment. Our community, including Christ Church, really did themselves proud with cleaning and furnishing a lovely home for this deserving family” Carol added. Donations came from individuals, the church, the community and local businesses.

“We are being called to help the less fortunate,” Williams says. “I believe this is an opportunity for our community to stand up together in the footsteps of Christ. This is about living our faith.”

The group would also like help to provide money for rent for a year, groceries, and clothing. English tutoring services for the two women would be beneficial as well.

Want to help?

Donations designated for this project may be routed through Christ Episcopal Church. Give securely online here, or in the office via cash or checks. While cash is preferred, In-kind donations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Contact the church office to discuss details.

> MAKE A DONATION securely online here <

Checks, gift cards can be mailed to:

Christ Episcopal Church
400 San Juan Dr.
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082

Please include “Afghan Resettlement” in the subject line.