I must admit that there is a great deal that I do not understand about the civil war in Syria. I don’t understand what grievances the Syrian people had that led to this war, or for that matter what exactly set off the entire Arab Spring. I don’t understand why the US supports the rebels while Russia supports the Syrian Government. I don’t understand where ISIS and al-Qeada fall into the mix. I am trying to understand more by reading articles and new reports. However, I still have much to learn.
What I do know is that there thousands of innocent people caught in the crossfire. According to the BBC, last night over 80 people, including many women and children were killed. Bodies were left in the streets. Buildings collapsed and people were trapped in the rubble. I know that when I read the news last night I prayed, and when I read the news this morning I cried. This world has grown smaller every year with advances in technology and transportation. There is no longer an us and a them, there is only us. These are our people dying, This is our tragedy. This is our war.
Aleppo was once a beautiful, historic city filled with over 2 millions people. Today it is in ruins. Millions of people have fled Syria in the 6 years of civil war. Refugees from Syria, mix with those of other nations, and pour into refugee camps. Families are making treacherous journeys on foot and raft to find safety, many finding themselves in conditions almost as bad as they have left. They drown in the Mediterranean Sea, are captured by ISIS, abducted by traffickers, and struck down by disease. These people, our people, are desperate. They are losing hope.
I don’t understand all that is going on, but I do know this: I can help. I can donate money to charitable organizations that are bringing immediate relief to those civilians who are now free to leave Aleppo, who just yesterday were starving to death, but today might just get a meal. I can raise awareness of the issues through social media. I can advocate on these people’s behalf with phone calls to Congress. And one of my great joys is that I can even volunteer my time. Two months ago I began volunteering to write thank you notes to support Preemptive Love Coalition. I can do it at my own pace, from my own home, at times that are convenient to me. I love it. I love that I can give one of my most precious resources, time, to a cause that I love. It makes a difference. I make a difference.
You can too.
Contact the volunteer coordinator at an organization doing relief work. (If you don’t know where to start, check out our Get Involved page.)
Make a phone call to Congress.
Repost an article.
Do it now.