This week alone, people in Syria have been gassed and then bombed. After years of horror, the pictures of suffering children even got through to the American president's cold heart. If you feel the same way, here are some things you can do to help.
Photo by Erika Wittleib.
Look for the Helpers (and Give Them Money to Keep Working)
Mister Rogers told us there are always helpers at any disaster, and Syria is no exception. The famous White Helmets are a volunteer search-and-rescue squad, and you can give to them here. Other reputable groups helping in this crisis include Islamic Relief Australia, Doctors Without Borders (also known by their French acronym, MSF), the World Food Program, and the International Rescue Committee.
When Syrians flee to safety, they need help to find new homes and support along the way. A ton of organisations support refugees: Start with Global Giving's Syrian Refugee Relief Fund, the Karam Foundation, Project Amal ou Salam (which means "hope and peace"), Hand in Hand for Syria, or Medical Teams International.
Volunteer Near Home
You can help Syrian refugees at home, too. If you live in a country that sees lots of refugees, you can sign up for Refugees Welcome to volunteer your spare bedroom, Airbnb-style. It's active mostly in European countries for now, plus Australia and Canada. In the US, try this tool to find local organisations that help refugees in your area. They may need volunteers to donate household supplies, to help our new neighbours learn English, or just to hold potlucks to show them a warm welcome.
7. Be a compassionate person. We live in a time of great divide, but never lose sight of our common humanity. You can make an impact. ???
— eemi (@eemanabbasi) April 4, 2017
You can do similar things on your own, of course -- extend that hospitality wherever it is needed. A little more compassion going around will make the world a better place.
Overwhelmed? Take a deep breath, grab a stamp, and write a postcard for a child in a refugee camp. Any Refugee does work in 45 countries, so no guarantee where it will end up -- but it will go to somebody who needs it. As the website explains: "Everyone needs to know that others are thinking well of them and wishing them a better future."