There are many sides to this story, some covered endlessly by media, and others, not as well publicized. It's important to understand the big picture and grasp the enormity of this situation. Only then can we individually make decisions about whether we want to help, how we feel about it, and what matters to us. If you want to help, but don't think you have anything to give, think again. A voice is a valuable contribution because you can tell their story. We can all help humanity.
This is the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII.
11 MILLION PEOPLE ARE DISPLACED.
Over half of the 11 million displaced are under 18.
MILLIONS OF THE REFUGEES ARE CHILDREN.
WHAT IT’S LIKE TO TRAVEL THE ROUTES OF THE REFUGEES….
For these refugees, every trip by boat is a desperate crossing. NY Times Photographers powerfully captured a trip and rescue of a crossing that made it very real to my eyes. These powerful images give us a first hand sense of what they're experiencing, while offering different sides of the story which helps us process and reach our own conclusions as to how we feel about it.
IN THE CLOUDLESS EARLY HOURS OF JULY 27, two tiny fishing boats drifted across the Mediterranean Sea. Crammed aboard were 733 would-be migrants, including 59 children under the age of 5. Most were from the impoverished and despotically ruled northeast African nation of Eritrea.The Story At Sea Told by two NY Times Photographers
Facts and Figures:
NOT SINCE THE NAZIS TRIED TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD, HAVE WE FACED A CRISIS LIKE THIS ONE.
WHEN THE POPE ASKED EUROPEANS TO OPEN THEIR HOMES, BUT AMERICANS WEREN’T INCLUDED, THERE WAS A NUDGING - AN INNER VOICE REALLY -
WHY NOT US? WHY IN THE WORLD NOT US?
After all, it's not like Americans are innocent bystanders to this situation. We've been involved from the beginning. We contributed to creating the situation that caused it. Does it make it our fault? No. But we're not innocent either. We cannot ignore it.
THEY ARE THE LEAST OF THESE.
11 MILLION SYRIANS are RUNNING from HOME. From THEIR HOME. WITH THE CLOTHES ON THEIR BACK AND ONLY THEIR CHILDREN IN THEIR ARMS, hopefully.
THEY want to LIVE. But think they’ll die. Many already have.
These people are not my father who, even though leaving an uncomfortable situation, was no longer facing death. The war was over. If he was caught hiding Jews while occupied, he’d surely be dead but this was NOT his story. But it is their story.
Many of you may have stories that are far worse, or similar to these refugees. If your story is a fraction of theirs, you're probably already doing something to help. Because you get it.
Some say SYRIANS did this to themselves.
They woke up one morning and said,
I want to be chased by mad killers and run from my home. I want to lose everything I have ever worked for. I want to risk the lives of all my family members and maybe even drown.
I want to be a burden to whatever society I land in and hope they resent me for mooching off them because we can no longer go home.
Yep, that’s what they did. And what they said.
JUST LIKE A CANCER VICTIM who was a little overweight. OR AN ALCOHOLIC who couldn’t stop drinking. Or a woman who wore a low cut blouse and got RAPED. Yep, all of these people were asking for it. They did it to themselves.
That’s not a reason for not reaching out our hand.
IT’S THE REASON WE DO.
Life is hard. Decisions are hard. Choices are often a series of sixes for all of us.
It does not matter why.
IT MATTERS HOW.
HOW WE HELP.
HOW WE SOLVE THIS.
HOW WE ENSURE OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS ARE SAFE.
EVERYONE WAS MOVED BY THE LITTLE BOY LEFT DEAD ON THE BEACH.
IT BROKE ALL OUR HEARTS WIDE OPEN. AND OUT OF HIS LOVE FOR THE BOY, HIS FATHER WANTS HIS LIFE TO HAVE PURPOSE.
HIS FATHER WANTS THE PICTURE TO CHANGE YOU.
TO CHANGE THE WORLD.
OUR ONE WORLD.
BECAUSE WE ARE CONNECTED.
WE ARE NEIGHBORS.
HOW YOU CAN HELP NOW
TALK ABOUT IT TO OTHERS.
Help people understand the situation better. Break down barriers between perception and reality. Ask people to make signage and s post and tag a picture of them with a sign saying they welcome refugees everywhere they can. Make sure you hashtag us at #Depot and at #wewelcomerefugees.com
WORK WITH ORGANIZATIONS DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
JOIN US AT THE SHIRT FACTORY OR THE OUTREACH DEPOT, OR PICK ONE OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS:
More details and contact information to follow.
Mennonite Central Committee
World Relief (donate to provide backpacks for resettled children here).
Doctors Without Borders: Has three rescue ships in the Mediterranean, on Tuesday alone they rescued 1,658 people
Hand in Hand for Syria: Working within Syrian borders to provide aid. Donations are made via British currency but these are easily converted from US donations during the transaction
SIGN A PETITION
ORGANIZE A RELIEF EFFORT IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Bring people together in your church, school, synagogue, support group and find ways to meet some of the needs mentioned together. Poeple working together come up with amazing solutions - solutions we wouldn't discover alone.
HERE IS A LIST OF SUPPLIES NEEDED IN GREECE.
IF YOU LIVE IN NJ, YOU CAN DELIVER IT TO US AT THE SHIRT FACTORY
ITEMS TO SEND for SYRIAN REFUGEES on GREEK ISLAND OF LESVOS:
Sneakers, gym shoes for men, women and children (all sizes) are a HIGH PRIORITY
Sweatpants of all sizes.
Briefs/underwear for men, women and children (all sizes)
Men’s trousers (small, medium and large) and shoes
Baby powder milk
Any non-perishables like nut butters or other long-lasting foods.
Plastic to cover the floor/for shade
Mats (camping or yoga mats)
Hats and caps for sunshade (adults and children/light colours because of the sun)
Electric Plug for multiple devices (european voltage)
IF YOU’RE OUT OF STATE, send it directly to the Greek Island of Lesvos.
Hellenic Postal Office of Mythymna
℅ The Captain’s Table
Molyvos 81108, Lesvos, Greece
HOST A FAMILY
Information and resources coming soon
== JOIN WEWELCOMEREFUGEES.COM==
SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ RESIDENTS CAN CONNECT WITH US HERE: