Maryam Mehr, a 4th grade student from northern San Diego County, spent Labor Day alongside her friends doing something incredibly sweet; they organized a neighborhood bake sale to help families in Afghanistan.
But the 10-year-old and her mother, Madina, told NBC 7 on Sunday that conditions on the ground in Afghanistan had only worsened since then.
Madina said the fall of the country is weighing heavily on her family in the United States and Afghanistan, adding that some extended family members have tried unsuccessfully to leave the country since the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15. .
“They were attacked by the Taliban,” said Madina, whose mother holds an American green card and is stuck in Kabul with Madina’s sister and stepfather. “What is going on there right now is unthinkable.”
Madina said that since the return of American troops to the country that gave her hope and security, Americans’ concern for those stricken in her country has only grown.
“A lot more people in the community wanted to help now than they know,” Maryam said.
So on Sunday, Maryam and a group of about 20 friends and community members rolled up their sleeves and got back to work at a second bake sale, setting up tables along Rancho Bravado and Rancho Latigo in Carlsbad. and topping them with homemade baked goods – everything from baklava and lemon squares to banana muffins, cinnamon buns and sugar cookies.
Behind the table, colorful homemade signs written by children hung, informing the neighborhood and passers-by of the effort.
Their first bake sale last month raised almost three thousand dollars.
“I hope we can bring even more awareness and that we can give them even more money,” said Maryam.
Madina and Maryam donated half of the proceeds from their first bake sale to Borderlands for Equity, a nonprofit helping Afghan refugees run by Mejgan Afshan, a La Mesa resident who also has family stuck in Afghanistan.
Madina told NBC 7 that with the help of her family in Afghanistan, she was able to deliver the remaining profits directly to the suffering Afghans via bank transfer so that they could have food and other necessities which since the Taliban takeover, were hard to come by.
“I was super happy because I wanted it to go to the Afghan people,” said Maryam.
The group said they knew the crisis in Afghanistan would not be resolved with a few bake sales, but said as long as they can keep the country on people’s minds, they are there for the long haul.
“The Afghanistan issue is not just a one-day or one-month situation,” Afshan said. “This is an ongoing situation and crisis … and the Afghan-American community deserves better.”
Madina said Sunday’s bake sale raised more than $ 2,800 which will be donated to UNICEF for the people of Afghanistan.