This morning (August 30, 2020) the Jordanian Hashemite Charities Organization loaded a military plane full of supplies for the people of Lebanon. SCM helped to fill the plane with donations from our warehouse and purchased supplies of food, blankets, solar lanterns, and other needed supplies. We also provided money for more food and supplies to be purchased in Lebanon.
SCM is working with the JHCO to get supplies into Lebanon because we know the supplies will go directly to the people and not get “lost” in government hands in Lebanon. Lebanon is facing huge corruption problems and a crisis in government so this ensures your donations get right to the people who need them.
The airlift left Amman around 8:30 am this morning and the flight took 3 hours – it normally would take about half an hour, but because the situation in Syria they cannot fly through Syrian airspace and cannot fly through Israeli airspace. This means the plane must fly south and then into Egypt then go north out over the Mediterranean and then into Lebanon.
Please share this and keep our relief efforts going. The need is still great, and the next airlift (next week) will include supplies to help begin repairing and rebuilding people’s homes in Beirut. We will also need more food and medical supplies for the clinics.
Today we received such a heartwarming donation and the story behind it, and we wanted to share it with you. A young girl named Maya had been following the explosion and humanitarian crisis that followed in Beirut. Her family is Lebanese and Palestinian, so this tragedy has really struck home for them. With the help of her parents Ahmad and Rana, she reached out to our representative, Gus Mansour, who is traveling to Lebanon in just a few days. He will be taking suitcases packed with needed supplies and money to buy more supplies there. Maya had been saving money to buy a laptop for herself, but after hearing about the explosion and the conditions people are living in now because their homes were destroyed, she wanted to do something to help. So, she decided to donate the $300 she had saved up to help the Lebanese people recover from this tragedy.
We want to thank Maya for her compassion and generosity, and we know her selfless action will benefit so many in Beirut. She really is an example to us all to care for those suffering from war or natural or man-made disaster and that anything you can do to help is so appreciated by those in need.
You can join Maya in helping our Lebanon Emergency Fund by donating here. Although Gus is leaving in the next couple days, we are continuing to raise funds to send to our office in Jordan so they can continue the cooperation with the Jordan Hashemite Charities to get supplies in to Lebanon and directly to the people who need it most. We are helping with things like generators, medical supplies, food, and more.
On August 4th, in the early evening in Beirut, a fire at the Port of Beirut set off an explosion that rocked the city to its foundations. In a flash, hundreds were killed, thousands injured, and hundreds of thousands displaced as the explosion shattered their homes and lives. SCM stands with the people of Beirut and Lebanon as they work to begin picking up the pieces of their broken lives.
SCM’s response effort to the explosion in Beirut began within two days after the blast. We contacted our office in Jordan and talked to our regional manager, Basil Sawalha, to see what we could do right away to help Beirut. He called the Jordan Hashemite Charities (JHC) and told them that whatever we had in our warehouse in Madaba was available for them to take for Lebanon. We have been working with them for the last 9 years and we trust them and what they do. They took us up on the offer and the first items they took were 6 emergency medical tents that were donated to us from Direct Relief. The tents were taken into Beirut and set up immediately. The next JHC plane left Amman on Thursday, August 13, and was filled with generators, solar lanterns, walkers, blankets, hygiene kits, and medical supplies. These were all delivered to the Lebanese Red Cross at the airport for distribution.
Everything that is going by JHC airlift into Lebanon is going directly to the Lebanese Red Cross for distribution. That way we know the items are being giving directly to the people and other small NGOs on the ground. This ensures that the donations are not skimmed or stolen and sold, a potential problem with anything given to the military or government agencies to distribute – very little would actually make it into the hands of those who need it. By us working with JHC and the LRC we can ensure that your donations will get to the people who need them.
We have set up a donation page for Lebanon and that money will be sent to Lebanon with Ghassan Mansour who is leaving on September 1st for two weeks. He will be helping to get items distributed and also work with a contractor who will be accompanying him to assess the damage to homes that just need windows replaced to be habitable again. Our plan is to be able to have the funds on hand to get this accomplished as quickly as possible.
And lastly, we have been collecting items here that will be going to Lebanon, hopefully in the first week of September. If we do not have a container load, we will delay until we can fill the 40-foot container, but we want to get it filled as soon as possible. All items in the container will be designated for Lebanon and will go to our warehouse to picked up by the Jordan Hashemite Charities to airlift into Beirut.
We have updated our Amazon wish list so please check that out. We also need school supplies which are probably cheaper to get on sale at stores like Staples or Fred Meyer. So please visit our Facebook page and our web site to see the items that we have listed. Items ordered on Amazon will come directly to us, or you can drop them off at our office in Seattle if you are local. Everything is needed and the people of Lebanon need your help.
We have not forgotten about the Syrian people and we are trying to help them also, but right now the priority is Lebanon, so we hope that you will be able to help us reach our goal of $100,000 within the next couple of weeks, and any amount helps. ~Rita
SCM is going to help refugees in Jordan get face masks to protect them from the coronavirus. In doing so, we will also be helping a women’s cooperative near Madaba of seamstresses made up of Syrian refugees and low income Jordanian women.
Jordan has done a great job of locking down the virus but until there is a vaccine in widespread global use, everyone will need to remain vigilant to keep the virus at bay. Refugees are especially vulnerable as they often live in situations with extended family and it is hard to social distance. Living conditions can make rigorous hygiene challenging. We have been sending and purchasing hygiene supplies but have not, so far, been distributing masks. With your help, we will begin distributing reusable, washable cloth masks in our regular distributions of other humanitarian supplies. For $5 we can provide a mask and help the refugees stay safe from the coronavirus and help the seamstresses earn an income to help their families.
Donate here to send masks to refugees.
On another note, Eid al-Adha is coming in just a few days on July 31, 2020. It is the end of the Hajj and is a 4 day celebration. Because of the virus, families won’t be able to celebrate as they usually would, but we want to help the refugee families struggling financially to at least be able to give gifts to the children and have a nice meal. We are collecting new toys for 75 children, ages 1-13 years old, gender neutral. We are also collecting gift cards for local grocery stores so the families can purchase food for a holiday meal. Both items can be sent or dropped off at our office at 3806 Whitman Ave N, Seattle WA 98103. If you are coming by, please call Rita to make sure she is there to meet you.
You can also donate here and we will purchase the food gift cards.
Our reach is far and wide. We recently helped a Syrian-Palestinian family start a new business in Ecuador, where they had emigrated to because of the war. They had been working but recently lost their jobs due to the pandemic, so they decided to open an Arab restaurant. They are bringing Arab food and culture to their south-American community and we are proud we could help them get back on their feet with their new business.
The SCM team in Jordan did a distribution yesterday to refugees in and around Amman. We distributed food, quilts, clothing, baby formula and other much needed supplies. The quilts and clothing items were sent in a previous container from Seattle, and your monetary donations helped to purchase the food and baby formula. Thank you!
I don’t think any of us thought that we would still be in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic with July 4th right around the corner. When it started, when we first heard of it back in February and people were beginning to ask questions about how serious it would be, everyone thought it would only be a couple of months before we could get back to normal. But it keeps going on and it is getting worse and the virus is spreading into more areas of the refugee communities. And now citizens from the US being banned from travelling to Europe, and states are banning people from other states from coming to visit. The world is changing daily.
SCM is trying to keep up with the demands of the refugee communities that we support, but it is getting harder and harder on a daily basis. We have applied for funding and grants, but we have only gotten one so far from 4 Cultures, but still have not received the funds for 5K. We are relying completely on your support to keep going.
So far this month with your help we have been able to accomplish the following:
Load a 40 ft shipping container and send it off to Jordan. It was completely packed full of supplies for the refugees there and it will take about 45 to 60 days to arrive at our warehouse in Madaba. Thanks also to the help of Jordan Hashemite Charities, the container will be allowed into Jordan at the Aqaba port when it arrives. We have been working with the Jordan Hashemite Charities for many years now and they know us and the work we do to help the refugees there.
We joined forces with Dunya Productions here is Seattle to “host” a virtual play called “Stories from Palestinian”. We were able to raise $5,000 which was then wired into GAZA for medical and humanitarian assistance. We also have an ongoing food drive for Dunya to help feed Palestinian families in need.
Through our many contacts we were able to get $4,000 into Aleppo for food assistance and then another $4,000 to the people in Idlib for food and medical assistance.
For our two young men that are stuck in Serbia waiting for their paperwork to come through for Canada we were able to get them $2,000 for living expenses
We helped two young refugee men here in Seattle that arrived less than a year ago to get driver licenses.
A car was donated to SCM and given to a Syrian family here to help them with their transportation needs for work, shopping, doctors appointments, etc. They no longer need to rely on public transportation or ask others for a ride somewhere.
We worked with a number of people to get food supplies to the needy families from farmers in eastern Washington. We got potatoes, onions and apples and these were given out to the Syrian, Afghani and Iraqi families in the Puget Sound area. I believe we had over 2500 pounds. We also got watermelons from JD Market and those were distributed to different families.
We have helped one Syrian family that wants to grow their own vegetable garden. We were able to purchase $570 worth of veggie and herb plants for them to grown on a piece of land near a Mosque on the east side.
We want to thank all our supporters for helping make this a great month that we were able to help all these people. A total of $33,564.90 was spent by SCM for these projects including rent and utility assistance to the refugees here.