In Case You Want to DO Something to Help the Victims of Terror

Nov 16 2015

Oh, friends, I have OPINIONS on the Syrian refugee crisis. And opinions on terror. And opinions on Paris. And Lebanon. And ISIS. I sure do! Opinions GALORE. And I would LOVE to share my (awesome) thoughts on immigration, security, politics and faith with you.

I have WORDS, y’all.

PROFOUND IDEAS, no doubt.

I just wrote a flurry of them.

And then I hit delete, erasing them all. POOF. Gone. On purpose.

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From Medical Teams International: Six months pregnant, the treacherous journey from Syria to Greece was frighteningly dangerous for Ahmad and his wife – crossing oceans in small boats, walking miles by foot and surviving without access to basic sanitation and healthcare is a dangerous proposition for anyone, especially a pregnant woman. Only two days before Medical Teams met them, their two-year old son fell on the mountain and broke his arm. He received medical treatment but needs an operation and has no medication for the pain. As winter approaches, Ahmad’s family will face freezing temperatures with only the clothes on their back to protect them. This, combined with poor sanitation and overfilled camps, is a recipe for pneumonia, hypothermia and diarrhea. Your donations of refugee kits (as well as financial donations — all of which are currently matched up to $100,000) can make a life-changing difference for this family and many more.

Because instead of adding to the din — instead of adding another essay in an ocean of them, some of which are quite excellent and some of which make me despair — I’m going to offer this, a practical way to help people in desperate need.

My heart breaks for the victims of ISIS and their horrific brand of destruction and terror. Yours does, too, I know. Parisians were the latest victims; Syrians, some of the first.

And no matter what you believe about where Syrian families should go, no matter which U.S. governors you support in their polarized immigration responses, no matter what news sources you follow or what convictions you have about international policy, most of us know there are women and children, men and families, who are in crisis and desperately need help.

Frankly, it’s easier to share opinions and articles on the Book of Faces than it is to actually help those in need, but that’s not who I want to be nor is it what I want to model for my children, which is why my family will be spending the next few days joining Medical Teams International in their goal to ship 10,000 refugee kits — with enough supplies to help 30,000 people — to refugees in Greece.

I would love it — love it, love it, love it — if you’d join us in taking action. 

If your kids have been asking hard questions like mine, and you’ve been using the heck out of that Mr. Rogers quote — When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” — I will tell you something important: following up that quote by saying, “And YOU can be a helper, too, kids. You’re EXACTLY the helpers the world needs” is the most empowering thing I know. For me, too.

Sending love, friends.

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P.S. Assembling a refugee kit is easy and costs less than $30. Less than $20 for infant care kits. Or if you’re short on time, you can make a financial donation to Medical Teams International, all of which are currently being matched up to $100,000. All the instructions are here, along with information on how to involve your family, company, school or faith community, as well.

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