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  • Writer's pictureDarcy

Mattress Drive!

Can you help me raise $2,000 by Friday April 8 to provide mattresses for a family of 7 Afghan refugees resettling in Georgia?

Right after I was crowned Mrs. Georgia America, we watched as Kabul fell and so many vulnerably families fled the country. This hit my husband Juan especially hard, as a 20+ year pilot in the Air Force who has flown in combat in Afghanistan. We have zero interest in the politics of the issue, but have been compelled to help our Afghan allies who served to protect Americans like my husband during the war. As Mrs. Georgia, Juan and I worked together to use my platform to help refugee families in crisis. We have partnered up with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and have raised over $11,000 in cash to help the IRC continue their life-saving work, AND committed ourselves to being matched with a specific family in need to cover their costs to get resettled here in the Atlanta area.

I’m happy to report that we will move our adopted family of 7 into permanent housing on April 15. I’ve been collecting cash and in-kind donations to help fulfill the very long list of items needed to set up a family in housing completely from scratch. Food, towels, silverware, pots, pans, sponges, diapers, pillows, lamps… everything that goes into making a safe and healthy home environment. We will have a U-Haul filled to the brim on moving day.

Can you even imaging grabbing your children and fleeing your home and country in order to escape execution? I’ve met many refugee women through my work with the IRC. I’ve been moved to tears more times that I can count. Life is hard, and it seems especially hard right now for so many innocent families around the globe because of multiple humanitarian crises.

Remember this dress I wore to the Dignitary Dinner during Mrs. America pageant week? It was handmade by Olga Ngalula, a refugee woman from the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, so I could showcase her work and tell her story. It is my deep privilege to shine on a spotlight on the human experience of refugee women who are working hard to thrive in their new communities.

If you or someone you know is looking for a way to support refugees from Afghanistan, Ukraine and other dangerous places where families are forced to flee, I encourage you to support the International Rescue Committee. If you’d like to support my specific campaign to raise the $2,000 needed to purchase mattresses, you can Venmo a cash donation to @Darcy-Castro, and learn more at

May peace and justice one day prevail over all else, and until then, may we lift up the most vulnerable to make this world a better place.


Darcy Castro

Mrs. Georgia America 2021

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