We were getting ready to eat dinner when another Syrian family appeared on the French news channel we were watching. “Shouldn’t we help them?” my 14-year old son asked my husband. “I don’t understand what’s going on and why more people don’t help them. If they are in need, shouldn’t we just help them?” My husband tried to explain the messy politics of the situation, but my heart broke for this poor man that had just been featured on the news. My heart broke for him and his family. I imagined myself in the same situation and my son’s words kept echoing in my heart: “Shouldn’t we just help them?”
With shame I realized that the Syrian crisis was not a new one, but one that had gone by without me giving enough thought about personally providing relief. Not until my son’s simple, innocent, poignant inquiry… And not until I saw the crisis as more than just a political crisis, but one that like so many others, affects individuals and families.
Two days later I came home to find my husband sitting on the sofa in shock and sorrow. Aylan Kurdi’s tiny body had just been found washed up on a beach in Turkey. Two days later, with his voice choked up and full of pain, he told me of his profound grief for this little boy and his family… How he couldn’t help but imagine himself in the same situation. The world responded with the same heartfelt grief and that voice in my heart continued to pierce its core. I had to help. But how?
A group of blogger friends and myself decided to do what we could. Cerys Parker (Rainy Day Mum) inaugurated our movement on the Multicultural Kid Blogs with this informative article about practical ways to help: The Syrian Crisis: Practical Ways to help. Cerys has included several ideas as well as links to reputable organizations that provide aid or relief to the Syrian refugees. In a second post, Alexandria of Back of the Tap Tap, wrote a compelling article: Syria: 5 lessons for a better world.
And today I’ve decided to feature LDS Charities as one reliable organization that you can make contributions to in an effort to provide relief. LDS Charities partners with five organizations to provide relief to many people in need all over the globe, including the Syrian crisis. The five organizations are detailed in the following quote:
More than four million Syrians have fled the country since the outbreak of civil war in 2011. In the past year there has been a significant increase in the number of refugees, with over 350,000 seeking asylum in Europe since January—a number that is expected to double by year-end.
Many aid organizations and local churches are providing emergency response for these refugees, including aid both while they are en route and once they are settled. LDS Charities will be partnering with five organizations to further their response efforts: International Medical Corps (IMC), Catholic Relief Services, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), UNICEF, and Physicians for Human Rights. Additionally, LDS Charities will provide resources for local projects headed up by leaders of LDS Church congregations in the region.
To better understand how LDS Charities work, please watch this video. I believe it’s about an hour long but I have two other short videos (a few minutes each) that show very specific examples of individuals and communities helping the Syrian refugees and how LDS Charities supports these efforts.
I was deeply touched by the way this mayor took it upon him personally to bring his village together in a massive effort to provide support to many refugees.
This video broke my heart, but I was also moved to tears by the goodness of people who selflessly love and give and serve those in need.
So you may be wondering what I have done personally to help the Syrian crisis. I make a monthly donation to the Fast Offering funds of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. These funds are used to help needy persons all over the world. My family and I fast once a month and then we donate the money we would have used for our skipped meals. We try to be generous and donate more. But my heart aches to do more.
Maybe you are wondering the same. How can you help? This brilliant list offers 40 ways to help refugees in your community.
And finally, I’d like to share a few posts of people who have personally donated their time, money and talents to help the Syrian refugees. Get ready to feel inspired! And if you have something you would like added to this list, please let me know.