Leila Salahieh might not have witnessed the suffering of Syrian Refugees firsthand, but it touched her so deeply that she was determined to help, even if that meant from across the globe. In fact, she is Syrian and her mother lives in Damascus. Hearing about the effects of war on a country she could call home compelled Leila to make a tangible difference–but she wasn’t sure how from her home in San Francisco. She scoured the Internet for an organization that works with Syrian refugees, and found Giving Children Hope.
When we told Leila that we had already shipped five containers to Syria, and planned to ship more, she enlisted the help of family, friends, coworkers, and concerned citizens, and collected donations for refugees. She received towels, shoes, underwear, pants, blankets, toys and all kinds of warm clothing. After sorting and packing the donations with a team of friends, Leila had gathered 6,000 items to fill 125 boxes!
To make sure the donations made it our warehouse safely, Leila’s friends personally drove a U-Haul from San Francisco to Orange County. From here, it will embark on an even longer journey to refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.
Members of our own team recently visited Lebanon and Jordan and saw the needs of the Syrian refugees who fled to these countries. Because of a project single-handedly started by Leila, these refugees from her own country can have warmer nights. “Praise God for people like Leila and her friends,” said Jean Bouchebel, GCHope’s partner on this project. Thank you, Leila and friends, for inspiring us with your passion!