05 Dec 2014
WITH temperatures dropping around the world, displaced Syrian refugees have very little to shield them from the bitter cold. Their plight cannot be forgotten or ignored. In a Save the Children report, 11-year-old Rami, his cheeks and fingers blistered from the cool winds said, “My brothers are getting cold too. My two youngest brothers can’t say many words yet, but now when they get cold, they say that word: ‘cold’. They know that word. They know cold.” Kindred spirits in a dozen different countries have joined in an innovative campaign to spread some warmth and hope for Syrians this winter. College students (Students Organize for Syria) may not have a lot of money stashed away, but they have the energy, leadership, drive, and creativity to garner the support of the world community. This winter season, 15 teams from the US, Canada, Europe, and Middle East will compete in what they call the ‘mustache-shaving campaign’ to provide crucial winter packages for Syrian children. The packages will be purchased and distributed by Karam Foundation to Syrian children inside Syria to help them survive the harsh winter. Each $20 winter package will contain: 1 winter coat, 1 blanket, 1 hat, 1 scarf, and a pair of gloves for a Syrian child. The teams are fiercely competing against one another; with a bubbly team spirit and dedication to hard work for a good cause. Toronto’s team headed out to the largest shopping center in the city. They asked people to donate to keep a Syrian child warm in exchange for a big hug, and the overwhelming generosity and goodness in people has been astounding and heartwarming. For each blanket they provided, they got a hug. Each team is coming up with unique ideas to provide aid for the Syrian children. The campaign is also running online and will be ongoing for a week. So far, the results have been very promising. Visitors to the website can simply pick which team they want to win, and donate to that team. Proceeds from all teams will in the end be poured into the winter charity program through Karam Foundation. Last year, with the help of netizens (global citizens on the Net), Karam Foundation and SOS raised a total of $100,347 for the winter packages which were delivered to destitute families inside Syria and in refugee camps on the borders. Karam Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to rebuilding Syrian lives through innovation, education, and technology. Karam is an Arabic word that means giving or generosity. In other languages karam means duty. It means to act; that our actions today will affect our lives tomorrow. The ability to serve those in need is not only an obligation, but it is a privilege as well. Karam Foundation focuses on supporting education, sustainable business, and humanitarian aid for Syrians in need.