One Little Candle: How You Can Help Syrian Refugees

Last week Evie and Vivian’s school hosted the annual Christmas show. The kids were adorable, the music was festive. It was all that is good about this time of the year.

One song in particular caught my attention: One Little Candle. It is about how a little light in a sea of darkness can make a difference. Rarely does one find inspiration from a grade school music show, but in light of current events in Syria this song really resonated for me. Even though the world always says “never again,” here we are again: mass civilian casualties, death, and displacement due to homicidal, maniacal leaders. I cry when I read news of the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. These are human lives. Prayer just isn’t enough right now.

But, how can I – a busy mother of six in America’s heartland – do anything to stop another genocide halfway around the planet?? How can I offer any light despite the darkest times in my lifetime?

Here are a few places we can all start:

1. Sponsor a refugee family with Refugee One: raise money, set-up their first apartment, stock their pantry, and prepare a welcoming meal. Members of your group visit the family weekly for 6 months to help practice English and discover the great opportunities Chicago has to offer.  http://www.refugeeone.org/co-sponsors–mentor-teams.html

2. Donate to Doctors Without Borders: DWB teams are providing support and supplies to people evacuated from East Aleppo. I view this as one of the most upstanding large organizations accepting donations.  http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/?ref=donate-header

3. Send a baby carrier to Carry the Future: I did this about a year ago and it felt so good to send something so tangible and helpful to a refugee parent. Carry the Future also accepts baby beds and supplies, or just send them a few bucks and they’ll put the money to work.  http://www.carrythefuture.org/

4. Donate gear to Heartland Alliance: They are looking for strollers, car seats, winter gear, maternity clothes, and general baby supplies for incoming refugee families. https://www.heartlandalliance.org/

5. Partner with HIAS: For more than a century, HIAS has provided immigration services in the Chicago area. Initially founded to support Eastern European Jewish immigrants, the program now addresses the needs of refugee and immigrants from all over the world, regardless of religion, race or nationality.  http://hiaschicago.org/

6. Write/call/email/Morse code your legislators. Tell them you are cool with your city and state offering refuge to refugees. These are human beings and they deserve a safe home just as much as you and I do.

One Little Candle

It is better to light just one little candle,
Than to stumble in the dark!
Better far that you light just one little candle,
All you need’s a tiny spark!

If we’d all say a prayer that the world would be free,
The wonderful dawn of a new day we’ll see!
And, if everyone lit just one little candle,
What a bright world this would be!

Let’s all light one little candle,
Why stumble on in the dark?
When the day is dark an’ dreary,
And your way is hard to find,
Don’t let your heart be weary,
Just keep this thought in mind!

It is better to light just one little candle,
Than to stumble in the dark!
Better far that you light just one little candle,
All you need’s a tiny spark!

If we’d all say a prayer that the world would be free,
The wonderful dawn of a new day we’ll see!
And, if everyone lit just one little candle,
What a bright world this would be!

What a bright world
This would be!

 

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Written by Maureen

More posts by: Maureen

3 Comments for this entry

  1. Maureen says:

    Great article Maureen! Thank you for the tangible ways we can help!

  2. andy atlass says:

    maureen, this warmed my heart. my ken has alzheimers and has been in care for the last ten days. worst holiday ever for both of us..but much worse for these families that have been torn apart. i’m going to reach out and thank you so much for your efforts. ken would be all for it.

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