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New WSU Group Helping Refugees In Wichita

Reaching Out To Refugees


A group of students at Wichita State University are providing a helping hand to refugees who have come here to escape war, poverty or natural disasters in their home countries.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has the story.

The students created a group called "Reaching Out 2 Refugees" to offer tangible support, such as clothing, furniture or toiletries, to the refugees that have resettled in the Wichita area.

WSU senior, Matt Brubaker says one lesson he’s learned is that the community has a lot of needs that go unseen.

“Just the fact that there were indeed 1200 refugees living in Wichita that we didn’t know about was kind of a wake-up call in regards to actively seeking to help others and make our community a better place. "

Arriving in recent years from Liberia, Haiti and South America, as well as other countries, the refugees have faced war, poverty or natural disasters in those places. Brubaker says that they need our support.

“You know the refugees coming over can’t speak English, they don’t have good jobs. They just don’t have a lot of the opportunities that those of us who have grown up in the United States take for granted. So they really can use all the help they can get.”

Credit Reaching Out To Refugees / Facebook

The group has collected 450 winter coats for the refugees during a coat drive earlier this month. They also helped move about $10,000 worth of furniture donated from a local Holiday Inn hotel.

Reaching Out 2 Refugees is working with the Wichita office of the International Rescue Committee.


Reaching Out 2 Refugees is hosting a benefit and awareness event for the International Rescue     Committee on Friday evening at Mead’s Corner.

For more information about the event, visit the group's Facebook page.

Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.