Downtown Springfield Association
Event poster for The Great Ozarks Care-a-Van
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The Mystery Hour Launches The Great Ozarks Care-a-Van to Support Afghan Refugees Settling in Springfield

January 06, 2022

In what has become an annual tradition, The Mystery Hour has launched a new holiday season fundraiser called The Great Ozarks Care-a-Van.

Though the holiday season is over, our neighbors are still raising money for the purchase of a large van for the International Institute of Southwest Missouri. The vehicle will support the institute’s work in resettling Afghan refugees. As of January 6, the GoFundMe crowdsource fundraiser has raised $3,830 toward its goal of $10,000.

“When I learned that we were settling Afghan refugees in the Springfield area I knew I wanted to look into how we could galvanize some help,” Mystery Hour host Jeff Houghton said. “I think people really want to help a cause like this, but may not know how. Hopefully, this can give them a way to do it.”

The International Institute of Southwest Missouri began receiving refugees from Afghanistan in October of this year and works to help refugees secure housing, jobs, and basic needs.

“When I called Rebekah Thomas at the International Institute, she said that a very quantifiable, immediate need they have is for a van, to transport people from the airport, for errands, and more,” Houghton said. “So that’s what we’re shooting for, and I’m sure Springfield will step up. I hope the project also raises awareness of the work being done, and of our new neighbors.”

The Mystery Hour had a show recently featuring an interview with two refugees.

“If anyone heard their stories I know they would want to help immediately,” Houghton said. “They have been through a lot, and when they arrive in Springfield they still have a long way to go to figure out finances, housing, and just navigating a new culture.”

Want to help the Great Ozarks Care-a-Van? Visit their GoFundMe page and click “Donate now.”