01 Oct 2015
SAN ANTONIO – The refugee crisis in Syria is reaching right into the hearts of San Antonians who are not willing to stand by and watch the suffering, according to the San Antonio Area Foundation.
A new fund has been set up as a result of two large donations that will match as much as $100,000 in giving.
Dennis Noll, president and CEO of the foundation, said, “For families fleeing Syria, it’s unimaginable.”
He said it’s hard to believe that 1 million people have fled Syria with nothing but the clothes on their backs and what little they can carry.
“Our donors got together and said that we have to do something about this and we are just thrilled that they have,” Noll said of the two anonymous donors, who agreed to donate as much as $100,000 in matching funds to help in the humanitarian crisis.
The money donated to saafdn.org/refugees will be funneled to numerous agencies working on the ground in Europe and the Middle East. Kate Edwards, SAAF director of marketing, said, “We have spent the time vetting the organizations and determining the areas of most need, and are most pressing, and where the donors’ dollars can have the most impact.”
RAICES, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, is helping SAAF with identifying the needs of the fund. Mohammad Abdollahi, who emigrated to the U.S. from Iran, works at the San Antonio office. He said San Antonio has always shown it has a heart for those fleeing poverty and violence in their country and this fund sets the bar for giving worldwide.
“Not only is it unique to San Antonio, it’s also setting the landscape for how we are going to respond to help refugees,” he said.
As for where the money will go, the foundation managing the fund said it’s done its homework. Agencies like Doctors Without Borders, Catholic Relief Services, Save the Children Federation, UNICEF and more are already working with the refugees now.
For more on the San Antonio Area Foundation, visit saafdn.org.