We’re hearing their stories all over the news this week–those thousands of families who have fled their homes in Syria are truly in need of aid and prayerful support. Catholic News Service provided a succinct update on the growing crisis here and social media is filled with compelling images:
A Syrian refugee girl in her mother’s arms waiting in the rain to move onto buses for their onward journey to Austria pic.twitter.com/SqrhJXQtao
— UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) September 5, 2015
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by their plight and to ask ourselves, “What can I possibly do to help?” and then to go about our holiday weekend busyness. I’m happy to share that there are a few easy ways that we can join in solidarity with these families and offer support.
1. Make a Donation through Catholic Relief Services
In Serbia, Macedonia and Greece, CRS is working with local Catholic, Orthodox, nongovernmental organizations and government partners to provide emergency relief, medical care, translation services and legal counseling. We’ve reached more than 5,000 vulnerable refugees and migrants in the past month. CRS has also constructed a facility equipped with beds, bedding, bathrooms and showers in the town of Kanjiza, near the Serbian and Hungarian border. About 1,000 refugees and migrants pass through the town each day. And we’ve increased access to medical, legal and other support services for more than 3,800 refugees.
Donate here – even a small gift when combined with others can make a big difference.
2. Join Forces with the Knights of Columbus
The Knights are actively working to meet the needs of displaced families:
To meet the growing need of displaced Iraqi minorities, the Knights of Columbus are financing one month’s supply of food for more than 13,500 families from Mosul and Nineveh who fled to the Erbil area in Kurdistan. The food packages will contain rice, sugar, cooking oil, tomato sauce, beans, wheat, pasta, cheese, fish, meat and tea. This donation will bring the organization’s assistance in the Middle East to more than $4 million overall with the total cost for the food donations being $810,000.
Those wishing to assist with the relief efforts can donate by visiting www.christiansatrisk.org or by sending checks or money orders payable to Knights of Columbus Charities at P.O. Box 1966, New Haven, CT 06509-1966. The memo portion should indicate that the check is for Christian Refugee Relief. One hundred percent of all donations directly supports humanitarian assistance and raising awareness for persecuted Christians and other religious minorities, especially in the Middle East. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
3. Pray for the People of Syria and All Suffering Religious Persecution
Almighty eternal God, source of all compassion,
the promise of your mercy and saving help fills our hearts with hope.
Hear the cries of the people of Syria;
bring healing to those suffering from the violence,
and comfort to those mourning the dead.
Empower and encourage Syria’s neighbors
in their care and welcome for refugees.
Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms,
and strengthen the resolve of those committed to peace.
O God of hope and Father of mercy,
your Holy Spirit inspires us to look beyond ourselves and our own needs.
Inspire leaders to choose peace over violence
and to seek reconciliation with enemies.
Inspire the Church around the world with compassion for the people of Syria,
and fill us with hope for a future of peace built on justice for all.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace and Light of the World,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Amen.Petition:For the people of Syria, that God may strengthen the resolve of leaders to end
the fighting and choose a future of peace.We pray to the Lord…
Thank you for your prayers and gifts and for taking time to help spread the word that these families truly need our love and care at this time.
Updated: Find additional very practical ways to provide support here.
Copyright 2015 Lisa M. Hendey
Image credit: Steinchen, Pixabay