Alarming Reality

Here are some alarming statistics:

  • In Iraq, there are currently 8.6 million in need of humanitarian assistance.
  •  In Syria there are about 2.2 million in need of humanitarian assistance 1 in 3 individuals within the Lebanon population are refugees (highest per capita in world)
  • Jordan is the 2nd highest number of refugees per capita in the world.

Even though these statistics are the reality, the International Services Department of the American Red Cross, along with community members did something to make a difference.

Community Response

On January 13th the International Services Department teamed up with the Union of Medical Relief Organizations  USA(UOSSM USA), The Syrian American Foundation(SAF), the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati and the Edward B. Brueggeman Center to host a city wide warm clothing drive for the Syrians that have been internally displaced in Syria and the surrounding regions. As a result, the community has collected so far, a grand total of 1,524 pounds and even though the drive technically ended on Wednesday there are still community members who are making their donations. The loading of the American Red Cross box truck will occur on Saturday February 27th. The destination for the container is now to the refugees in Lebanon; due to violent bombardment from participating parties, it is nearly impossible for the partner organization to distribute the collections on ground in Syria .  “Previous containers were delivered inside Syria, through Turkey, in the providences of Aleppo & Idlib & their suburbs’”, but now that current circumstances has affected the delivery; the destination has changed. However, Dima SAF coordinator, assured us that the Syrian refugees in Lebanon are in “dire situation” just as much as the ones that have been internally displaced.

The Muslim Student Association at the University of Cincinnati, along with the Emerging Ethnic Leaders helped expand the drive on their campus. The expansion of the drive was lead by International Services Intern, and third-year communications student Lin Zhu. The students’ donations equated to over 300 lbs; reflecting the respect the students have for human dignity.

We received many items from blankets, to gloves, to comforters and coats.

We are beyond pleased with our results and amazed by the solidarity of our community. Thank you to everyone who made this initiative successful!

RefugeeConnect  volunteered by sorting and folding over a 1,000 lbs !!  


Rolf Wiegman pictured dropping off (First Unitarian Church’s) collections. 

Click here to find out about our next initiative involving the Syrian refugees in need of medical care:

Questions for the International Services Department? Email:

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