“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”
~ Steve Maraboli
The Syrian war has been ongoing since 2011 and has left thousands dead with over 9 million people forced out of their homes. Many of these people have been displaced within Syria itself, whilst others have found refuge in their neighboring countries. Jordan and Lebanon have done their best to open their borders up to the women and children fleeing from violence. Unlike the mild winter of Bahrain, refugees have had to deal with freezing temperatures, rain and snow storms in their makeshift tent homes.
We have always been very proud of the St Chris community, where students, parents and staff work together on a daily basis to create a welcoming and nurturing environment for all of our students. I was confident that the community would pull together as always to help people that were in desperate need.
When we first approached the Red Crescent, they made it clear that the refugees were in desperate need of warm clothing and blankets to help them through this increasingly tough time. For this appeal to really make a difference, we had to collect items quickly and hope that they would be delivered to refugees immediately.
With a window of one week to work with, children, parents and staff were informed of the appeal and within hours, I was contacted by several parents who were very eager to help. They formed a group of volunteers and spent every day of that week sorting through items that were being donated. They also bargained incredible deals with local suppliers to purchase blankets and warm jackets with the money that had been donated. “The Syrian Refugee campaign of last week was truly remarkable, having volunteering mothers from St Chris working from their heart and soul in order to support the appeal. It was another mark of the lovely environment that prevails at St Christopher’s during efforts directed towards humanitarian reasons.” May Dabbas (parent volunteer)
As well as the time and effort that was put in by these volunteers, other parents rushed to find a way to help the school maximize the appeal. I am so grateful for everybody’s hard work and donations, but must specifically mention Mr and Mrs Hardiman, who arrived at the school one afternoon with a truck filled with goods. They had seized the opportunity to rally colleagues at work to make donations and were able to deliver an entire truck’s worth after just two days of collecting.
I must also extend a huge thank you to DHL, who upon learning that the Red Crescent could only deliver brand new goods, offered to take 120 boxes of used items and deliver them to Lebanon, free of charge. This really could not have been a success without them.
As Random Acts of Kindness Week is upon us, I hope that this serves as a reminder of how easy it is for us all to make a difference in the world. Thank you again!