Sometimes I worry about developing compassion fatigue when I scroll through social media. There is no shortage of suffering, of heartfelt pleas to help support a thousand worthy causes. How does one decide where to allocate energy, time, money, anxiety? We do the best we can, I suppose, and we listen to what strikes a responsive chord in our own hearts. My ears are tuned to the cries of the innocent victims in Syria.
I first wrote an article about the plight of Syrian refugees back in October of 2016, after joining a group of everyday journalists, parents and activists called Stand With Aleppo. It has been many months since the #StandWithAleppo campaign began, and yet the horrors in Syria continue.
Assad’s regime continues to commit crimes against civilians. The horror of the bombings has escalated into a new wave of terror. Around the world, communities are reeling at the devastating chemical attacks that have killed and injured helpless babies, children, and adults.
The pain is unimaginable for Abdul Hamid Youssef, who lost 25 members of his family in the attack, including his wife and his nine-month-old twin babies. How does one reconcile such loss? How can we not do something?
Families are living in refugee camps, war-torn and poverty-stricken, without access to basic life needs such as shelter, food, medicine and clothing. Mothers in Syria are delivering babies every day into a world of chaos and grief. They cling to their newborn children with all the hope that a new life promises.
Here in America, my youngest sister delivered a healthy baby boy yesterday in the comfort of a safe hospital. Her infant was bathed and swaddled in warm clothes and blankets; and she is in the intimate process of bonding with him, learning to feed him and care for him. I cannot imagine if my nephew were delivered in a refugee camp. I cannot fathom a world where my sister had to worry about how to find a tiny knitted hat to keep his head warm.
Amazingly, there is a way to bring comfort to the families and babies who ARE living in this nightmarish reality. A licensed nonprofit called the Heroic Hearts Organization has arranged the Parcel of Love campaign, which creates a special box filled with supplies for babies born in refugee camps.
The Heroic Hearts website explains:
With your help, we will hand deliver a Parcel of Love to 1,500 Syrian babies born in refugee camps. Each Parcel of Love will be filled with baby essentials: baby formula, warm clothing and blankets, healthcare items, and a packable bassinet for the baby to sleep in.
SELECT THE PACKAGE AND DONATE
It is hard to know how to help people who are thousands of miles away. I am grateful to the Heroic Hearts Organization for creating a way for us to do something concrete to bring comfort and compassion to the refugees. By nothing more than pure luck, I was born in America and not in a war-torn country like Syria. I am forever grateful for my freedom and my security, which allows me to hold my children at night, their ears filled with songs and stories instead of the deafening sounds of falling bombs. Please consider supporting the Parcel of Love campaign to help the babies we cannot protect.
Fast facts from Parcel of Love:
- Of the 4.8 million registered Syrian refugees, half are children.
• Over 60,000 babies have been born in exile
• Refugees face extreme poverty, limited shelter, limited medical access, virtually no access to education, and children are showing symptoms of psychological strain from the traumas of witnessing war.
• Top worries of every mom living in the camps: hardships of childbirth in such a setting, worries about what they’ll feed their newborn and the feeling of abandonment
- The Heroic Hearts Organization is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, non-political organization, dedicated to bringing lasting and positive change to lives of the internally displaced or those suffering in war-ravaged communities. 100% of your donation will go directly to the cause without administrative overhead.
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