At the beginning of the Afghanistan crisis, sometime around mid-August 2021, E3 Ranch Foundation Founder and Executive Director Adam LaRoche was on the phone with a good friend, and the subject of the call was how might the Tim Tebow Foundation and E3 Ranch Foundation work together to help the situation in Afghanistan.
In the hours, days, and months that followed, the two foundations turned their collective attention to this massive humanitarian need in the Middle East. After making several phone calls to friends and pooling gifts of his own, Adam and the Foundation had raised between $1.5 million and $2 million.
“Gifts to the Foundation from friends and individuals who are passionate about it — I can’t thank ‘em enough,” Adam says. “It’s all going to help get people out and help with their resettlement.” Although the Afghanistan situation is complicated and multifaceted, what’s become clear is there’s a huge misconception that everyone is out and the situation is resolved.
When the news cameras left, what remained in Kabul, Kandahar, and other locations were U.S. citizens awaiting transport; Afghanistan families who the Taliban knew to have helped American forces for years (and decades); as well as other Taliban-persecuted groups: Hazara Afghans, women’s rights activists and women in the military, and Christians, to name a few.
Further, once the news media stopped covering the crisis, the situation worsened: The Taliban could now move about openly and execute perceived threats without retribution. U.S. military personnel had worked with translators and aides for decades over hand-shake agreements that the U.S. would take care of our partners if things went south, and now those Afghan partners needed help. Many had sacrificed their family’s security for years, operating under total secrecy, threats to families be damned, most of the time in the name of hating the Taliban, loving their country, and wanting a better future for their children.
The number left behind in Afghanistan is vast, but there are also thousands that have been rescued from Afghanistan and are sitting in refugee camps in other countries who desperately need people to continue the fight for them. But from the beginning, the entire E3 Ranch Foundation Team and Foundation partnersAdam and E3 Ranch Foundation partners have been continuing the fight, and will continue it into 2022. “The lift has been mighty by a few people,” says Amy English, Operations and Administration Director of E3 Ranch Foundation. “It couldn’t be done without our core three to four E3 Ranch Foundation Team, our Board of Directors, and countless relationships built with like-minded organizations who are all in the weeds every day.”
The gifts of the more than $1.5 million have been used for flights, food, shelter, safe-houses for people in Afghanistan waiting for transport, Humanitarian Parole (HPS) application fees, and helping fill the gaps for basic needs at the refugee camp in Abu Dhabi. “That’s the nice thing about having a smaller organization, is we can flex in these situations. Some of the larger non-profits, they have their mission and that’s good because it keeps you focused,” Adam says. “One of the benefits to being a smaller organization is at the end of our mission statement are the words ‘greatest need’ — ‘serving those in need,’ and at this time it happened to be our Afghan partners.”