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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Timeless Toys Collects Toys, Donations For Refugee Families From Afghanistan In US

Scott Friedland, Timeless’ shopkeeper, is an Indiana National Guard captain at Camp Atterbury, which is hosting thousands of people fleeing Afghanistan.

Some of the donations Timeless Toys has collected for Afghan refugees.
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LINCOLN SQUARE — Timeless Toys is in the final stretch of accepting and matching cash and toy donations for refugee families from Afghanistan. 

For the past month, the toy shop at 4749 N. Lincoln Ave. collected monetary donations to buy toys here. Toys bought online at Timeless can also be donated when customers use the promo code “ALLIES” at checkout and choose in-store pickup. 

The donation drive will continue through Thursday. 

When the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan as U.S. forces left earlier this summer, people in the country fearful of a return of the group’s brutal past rule tried to leave. Some of those sought transport with the evacuating U.S. military. 

“There are plenty of kids coming over to the United States that are in a difficult situation. They’re also dealing with a lot of emotional stuff,” said Scott Friedland, Timeless’ shopkeeper. “Getting toys in the hands of these kids is going to be important for their emotional health as far as well as their educational development. We figured why not help because we live in a community that is very giving.”

Friedland is also a captain in the Indiana National Guard at Camp Atterbury in south-central Indiana. He decided to host the monthlong donation drive at his shop after learning Afghan refugees were staying at Camp Atterbury as part of operation Allies Refuge

Earlier this month, approximately 2,500 Afghans arrived to be housed temporarily at Camp Atterbury, one of eight sites across the United States to host the Afghan evacuees, according to the National Guard

At least 50,000 refugees are being housed at military bases like Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; Fort Lee, Fort Pickett and Marine Corps Base Quantico, all in Virginia; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey; Fort Bliss, Texas; and Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico.

To get the donations to refugees, Friedland is working with Team Rubicon, a nonprofit that mobilizes veterans and first responders to help people during disasters and humanitarian crises. The group was founded after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

“We are committed to helping people on their worst day,” said Jennifer Gist, a Team Rubicon spokeswoman. 

Team Rubicon got involved in the current resettlement process due to the relationships the nonprofit has with different governmental agencies. 

“It’s worked out really well because of businesses like Timeless Toys that are just so willing to donate. Thanks to them and people like them we have an abundance of donations from a bunch of different directions and right now we are managing the donation process for seven military bases across the country,” she said.

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