Detroit man raising money for rescue missions in Afghanistan

Mario Talerico working with his aunt, who is retired Army major and served in Afghanistan

Detroiter raising money for rescue mission

DETROIT – As the work to get Americans and Afghan allies out of Kabul, a Detroit man has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund rescue missions.

Mario Talerico is normally corporate lawyer, but for the past week, he’s been coordinating a complex rescue mission to save hundreds of people amid the fall of Kabul.

“This has consumed everything to try and help our friends,” he said.

Read: Metro Detroiters fear for families in Afghanistan as Taliban gains control

Talerico is working with his aunt, retired Army Major and former Detroit paramedic Anne Talerico, who served in Afghanistan and founded a medical clinic in the Afghan capital in 2012. Her friends were forced into hiding once the Taliban moved in.

“We think they got our staff members identifying information, so they know how to find them, likely. So they’re all in hiding. We need to get them out as quickly as possible,” Mario Talerico said.

Statewide, he is helping to raise funds and charter planes. A GoFundMe under the name “We Care” has already raised more than $530,000 as of Friday afternoon, saving 100 people so far.

“It was under the cover of darkness. We were able to safely evacuate them from hiding in the city through Taliban checkpoints ... We have assets on the ground, friends on the ground that are helping us to get to the airport, and we were able to get them into the airport with the help of the military and out of country into a Safe Third Country,” he said.

Hundreds still remain stranded and in danger.

Read: ‘We can’t do enough’: Lawmakers flooded by evacuation pleas

About the Author:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.