GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

‘It has been life-changing:’ Bellevue woman collecting craft supplies, toys to help keep Afghan refugee children occupied at Fort McCoy

Local News

BELLEVUE, Wis. (WFRV) — Lori Ann Micksch returned to her Bellevue home after two weeks at Ft. McCoy Saturday.

“It has been life-changing,” Micksch said of her experience. “It is soul-enriching.”

She brought a few mementos home with her: artwork created by Afghan refugee children, including a crayon drawing by a little boy of a house decorated in two halves.

One side sports an American flag and red, white, and blue colors; the other an Afghanistan flag and decorated in black, red, and green.

“This to me is more valuable than any famous painting could ever be,” Micksch said. “They’re showing such unity between our two countries that I just…I found it so heartwarming.”

Micksch volunteered through Catholic Charities after learning that refugees were being housed in Wisconsin’s Ft. McCoy.

“I just knew there was something I needed to do,” she said. “I just didn’t know what.”

The ‘what’ turned out to be working in one of the Womens’ and Childrens’ Centers on base.

“Your entire day is spent just entertaining and interacting with these children who crave the attention that we bestow on them,” Micksch said.

That time is spent playing and practicing communication.

“They’re going to be going into public school systems, most of them,” Micksch said. “They’re going to need to interact with their American counterpart children.”

She’s planning on making a second volunteer trip in December.

“I absolutely am,” Micksch said. “It is a life-changing experience.”

Before she makes her return, Micksch is hiping to gather art supplies and toys for the kids.

“What we’re seeing at the base is something called ‘toy scarcity,'” she explained. “Toy scarcity means they just don’t have much in the way of activities, and they need that outlet.”

The volunteers have created a wishlist of items they hope to bring back to Ft. McCoy.

“We are going to be looking at the base being open with resettlement until probably September 2022,” Micksch said. “So we have established this wishlist to insure we have supplies going forward until at least July.”

They’re hoping to keep the youngest of the Afghan refugees occupied while they wait for their next chapter to begin.

“They are so resilient,” Micksch said. “Even though they’ve been through a very traumatic event, they are hopeful for the future.”

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE WISHLIST FOR KIDS AT FORT MCCOY

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

Coronavirus News

More Coronavirus

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Your Local Election HQ

More Election

Local Sports

EXCEPTIONAL ATHLETE: Emily LaChapell

GAME OF THE WEEK: FREEDOM VS WRIGHTSTOWN

GBN 12/1/21 - LOOK AT PLAYOFF PICTURE

GBN 12/1/21 - CHALLENGE OR NO CHALLENGE

GBN 12/1/21 - LETS GET SOCIAL

GBN 12/2/21 - WELCOME BACK DEFENSE

People In Our Community <<View More

Hometown Heroes <<View More