This is not a political article. This is not about why the Syrian war happened or all the parties currently at play. This IS about the fact that people just as smart, capable, warm and loving as you and me need our help in a unique and absolute way. While the news may show images that overwhelm us daily, to the point that many are jaded by it all, it does not mean that we can’t help out.

A man reacts amid debris after what activists said were explosive barrels thrown by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Al-Shaar neighbourhood of Aleppo April 27, 2014. REUTERS/Hosam Katan (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR3MTUG

Amid the debris in Aleppo, Syria. April 27, 2014. Image: Reuters/Hosam Katan

children-syria

UNICEF estimates that over 8 million children have been affected in the Syria conflict. Image: UNICEF

A recent email came from a dear friend who forwarded another email from her friend Samar Ali, an attorney for Bass Berry & Sims, who is also a third-party mediator to the Syrian conflict, a term member to the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC, and a counterterrorism specialist. I wanted to share parts of this email with you today. In case you have missed the seriousness of the Syrian crisis, Samar summed it up in just a few sentences:

While each of us are currently hyper-involved with our own local communities, this particular Syrian community in crisis is incredibly dependent on our global support and they simply can’t depend on their own local community or government right now for obvious reasons. We all know this.

This war is SIX years old (older than some of the children dying) with 500,000 casualties. Unfortunately, at this time, it is only getting worse and certainly not better.

This is our world’s biggest refugee crisis since WWII, with 5 million Syrian refugees.

Samar went on to write:

Whether it be financial or through volunteerism in your own special way (for example, by mentoring a Syrian refugee who is applying for a scholarship that will serve as a ticket for the family out of the camps/Syria and to a brighter future; or simply by making a point to speak to a total stranger about why they should care about people they don’t even know) please make a point to get involved. You can make a difference and small ‘wins’ matter even as this war continues to take and ruin lives.

As the rush of the holidays wanes and we look forward to all of our hopes for 2017, we wanted to break from our traditional articles here at StyleBlueprint and concentrate on how to give back to “our world’s biggest refugee crisis since WWII.” That’s an overwhelming statement which can stop you in your tracks … since WWII. Yes, the people of Syria need the help of the world.

If you need a list of where to send money that will be used to directly help the people of Syria, Samar suggested these organizations. Each website below has been linked to the direct Syrian donation page.

  • Save the Children: savethechildren.org
  • UNICEF (UN International Fund for Children): unicefusa.org
  • Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontiers): doctorswithoutborders.org
  • Migrant Offshore Aid Station: moas.eu (Samar’s note): MOAS critically intervenes to save passengers of sea vessels from immediate harm, such as drowning. Once out of harm’s way, however, MOAS is bound by international law, which may not permit MOAS to transport passengers to their intended destination.
  • Mercy Corps: mercycorps.org
  • UNHCR (The Official UN Refugee Agency): donate.unrefugees.org
  • ICRC  (International Committee of the Red Cross): icrc.org

Samar offered a few more NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) that she knows first hand are doing good in Syria, if this is a route through which you would rather donate:

  • UOSSM International: Providing Impartial Aid to Those in Syria’s Conflict Areas: uossm.org
  • Syria Relief & Development: syriareliefanddevelopment.org
  • Syrian Expatriate Medical Association (Google will prompt you to translate from Arabic to English. It’s worth translating and reading what this organization is doing.): sema-sy.org
  • Syrian American Medical Society: sams-usa.net
  • The White Helmets: whitehelmets.org

In case you missed the recent “60 Minutes” episode about the everyday heroes on the ground in Syria, who operate under the title of The White Helmets, it’s well worth the 13 minutes to watch. You can find it HERE on cbsnews.com.

For links that are constantly being updated on the current state of affairs in Syria, these are good ones to bookmark:

  • The New York Times always has the latest news out of Syria available through THIS LINK.
  • The Economist has in-depth article about Syria available via THIS LINK.
  • NPR articles and podcasts on Syria are available through THIS LINK.

Syria … millions of people in this country will need global support for fresh water, food, medical care and life-giving provisions for years to come. If you are overwhelmed with how to help, pick one of the organizations on this list above and donate a few dollars. It really will make a difference.

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