Dear friends and family,
This holiday season has been unique for all of us in many ways. With the political and economic unsettlements happening around the world, and back home (Lebanon), and all the difficult challenges each one of us is going through, we are very lucky to be witnessing people come together in a way I have personally never seen.
As we go into social media, in between the bad news and heartbreaking stories we read, we tend to get little unexpected post showing people helping others in any way possible. Apps were created to help people in need, donations are being sent from all around the world, food is shared with families in need, job support, schooling support …. To name a few.
We of course wanted to join this great movement of kindness and love, in any way we could.
Although I live abroad and many of my greatly supportive friends do as well, we can always find a way to be kind, especially during the season of giving. And we did.
Many of you must’ve heard about SOS Village https://www.sos.org.lb/about-us and what support they do in Lebanon. What people do not know about SOS is that they also help families in need who live in their homes; in fact, they try to help over 1000 families that need care and attention across the country. Although the children of these families do live at “home” and not in the SOS villages; they do not live in great conditions, and either lost a parent and live with a single mom or dad, or they lost both parents and live with their guardians; aunts/uncles/grandparents…
During the summer I was able to visit many of these families at home and try to see how we can help them. It would break your heart if I were to explain their housing situation. However, this post is not to explain about that, another one will follow in the next few months and will show you how we are helping these families in making their house a livable home, one house at a time (and how you can join our projects). This post is to explain how, during this season of giving, we were able to provide food boxes for 50 of these families and gifts for 65 of their children between the ages of 1 and 16.
An important aspect when helping others is how you are helping them, and we wanted to try to impact more than the families we were providing the food and gifts to. So, we went to the local mini markets and toyshops owned by Lebanese families and got all what we needed. (And smiles – many smiles of joy and gratitude.)
The 50 food boxes were filled with canned foods, rice, pasta, sugar, powdered milk, dried beans, oil… They were then placed in a minivan, and my lovely brother Roy drove to the community center where the families waited for us. My mother and I followed with gifts, and our friends George and Jenny met us there with more gifts to distribute.
Once we reached the center, despite the harsh stormy weather, many families kept showing up. The kids played games and got their faces painted; while the parents watched them and cheered.
Every young boy and girl got a gift (yes one gift – and believe me, their faces were glowing with joy) and the smiles and hugs they gave in return filled my heart with warmth and happiness. This was all because of you, our friends who jumped at the opportunity of making their Christmas just a little bit more special.
After a few hours of fun and games and gift unwrapping, the parents took their food boxes and thanked us for all we had done for them and their children.
And now I want to thank you, all of you, for supporting us. I also want to thank all our amazing friends for having beautiful hearts and for trusting us with your donations. You all mean the world to me, we couldn’t have done this without you.
Merry Christmas to you and your lovely families.