The effort began when Trubek contacted the nonprofit Global Cleveland to ask how she could assist with local efforts to resettle Afghan refugees. One option to donate money for application fees to The Refugee Response, which works directly with families as they begin the resettlement process and during their adjustment to the US. An individual application for humanitarian parole—which enables those with “a compelling emergency” to temporarily enter the US if “there is an urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit”—costs $575.
Trubek donated, then posted a call for other donations, offering to send free books from Belt Publishing in return. At first, people sent her donations through Venmo; as they kept coming, Trubek redirected donors to the organization directly. About 60 people told her that they donated, she said in a Twitter DM.
“I think [people] appreciate someone immediately saying ‘Thanks! Wow!’ which I could easily do in the DMs,” she wrote, adding, “the real work was being done by all the orgs in [Cleveland] … This is all happening incredibly fast.”