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.
We are also working with the Daher family who is raising money for the Lebanese Red Cross. Those funds will be wired directly to the LRC account in Beirut. You can find their fundraising page on our website and donate to either fund – both are tax deductible, and both go to help the people Lebanon.
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.