Santi’s Service Reflection

Last Friday, my family┬áreceived about 100 boxes from Amazon-some which we ordered directly and others that came from extended family and friends. In each of these boxes, there was innumerable socks, tiny boots for tiny feet, hand warmers, and ponchos. These things were to go to the Syrian Refugees in a refugee camp in Greece┬áthat’s made of mostly orphaned kids that lost their parents in the migration process. This small camp of 80 inhabitants was running short on supplies and preparation for the rainy and cold months that followed. I spent my Friday afternoon organizing all these supplies into 80 little packages, one for each kid. Then on Saturday, I moved all 80 packages to a synagogue near our school that was serving as a collection point. These gathered supplies would then be shipped directly to the refugees who needed them most through an organization that dispenses medical supplies to areas of crisis around the world.

This experience was eye-opening to say the least. Such a small amount of supplies and effort potentially saved the lives of 80 children. It was neat to pool our supplies with those of other members of my school community. It was good to feel that these┬ácontributions were going directly to those in need—that I’m not just blindly donating to a large organization without knowing exactly where the money is going. I’m making a difference in individuals’ lives.

One thought on “Santi’s Service Reflection

  1. Santi,

    I appreciate all that you and your family did to support the school-wide response to the refugee crisis. You didn’t just gather donated goods within your immediate family, you spread the word to extended family and friends as well.

    I appreciate what you had to say about not just “blindly donating to a large organization” and not having a real sense of where things are going. Like you, when I give of my time, talent and/or treasure, I like to form a more direct connection. Through our long-time partnership with the AFYA Foundation, we were able to find a way to transport the much-needed boots and winter supplies to the refugees arriving on Greece’s shores. AFYA supplies medical supplies year-round across the world during times of crisis. I am thankful for the ongoing partnerships that we have forged with such organizations. They have the means to transport these goods and we have the community eager and willing to meet the demands.

    I imagine you would be interested in participating in supporting a newly arrived refugee family to the NYC area. We are working with the International Rescue Committee on ways our school community might support the needs of such a family. I’ll keep you posted.

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