Alex’s blue-eyed and curly-haired son volunteered to take a photo but couldn’t quite negotiate between his excitement to see a fancy camera and his shyness. He eagerly took the camera from my hands to view each photo after it was taken. He had a much larger grin looking at his own picture than he ever shared while in front of the camera. His sister kindly posed for a photo, while a few feet away their parents watched lovingly, rocking their 4-month-old baby girl.
It is difficult to imagine these giggling kids experiencing anything but a traditional American summer of pool parties and hot dogs.
Alex, his wife, and their three kids are new to America. Just 8 months ago they arrived in Orange County seeking asylum from the violence in Syria. Every day is a waiting game for their paperwork to go through so Alex can begin working. He is a trained electrician but cannot legally work until their asylum is officially granted. Alex was introduced to Giving Children Hope’s Giving For Living program by one of our amazing nonprofit partners, Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center. Giving Children Hope is honored to provide Alex with hygiene items and other important basic necessities for his children. Without an income for the foreseeable future, items like shampoo, toilet paper, and soap often must be rationed. Family barbecues are a luxury they just can’t afford this summer.
The toughest part of this young family’s story has been the separation from their family and support system. Alex said he hasn’t seen his parents or siblings in five years. Because of the war and the terror that had become part of their daily life, they’ve all had to find safety in whatever countries will accept them.
“I dream that one day my family can be together again, either in Syria or somewhere else,” Alex shared.
Giving Children Hope is thankful for the chance to serve Alex’s family in their time of greatest need. May we all hug our loved ones a little tighter tonight and share our prayers for those who have lost that comfort.