SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — One man has made it his mission to find, and refurbish, strollers and other necessities for families fleeing war-torn Afghanistan and coming to Sacramento. Now, the need is greater than ever.
Jon Ursino is on a mission to make sure Afghanistan families coming to Sacramento have the extra help they need.READ MORE: 2 Sacramento Men Convicted Of Stealing Dozens Of Catalytic Converters Across 8 Counties
“I saw the suffering in people’s faces,” said Ursino.
He and his wife started this work in 2015, when they recognized just how many Iraq and Afghanistan war-torn families were arriving in Sacramento as their safe haven.
“We saw the anxiety, the PTSD, and the effects of war on people’s faces,” Ursino recalls.READ MORE: Thursday's Show Info. (12/2/21)
Ursino and his wife set up a group called Community Alliance For Refugees with a mission to scour social media and thrift stores for lightly used strollers and blankets, and then deliver them to the resettlement agency Lao Family Community Development.
“It’s been a really hectic time for us,” said Lao Family CEO Kathy Chao Rothberg.
The Lao Family agency helps families locate housing, search for work, and register children for school. Rothberg says that these strollers for the children bring smiles to their faces.
“It means the world to the families,” said Rothberg. “We felt like we had to help people find some way to transition into our society, but also to find some happiness.”MORE NEWS: California Water Authority Says Mandatory Cutbacks Could Be Coming
As more Afghan families arrive, the search for strollers will push on.