To My Dear Donors:
I have been home for just over three weeks, but dispersed the last of your funds last week.
With the $7,755 you donated, we were able to make a beautiful difference in many lives. We helped some people with small things like clothing, food, and strollers. We were also able to make a huge difference to two families who continue to face dire circumstances.
Here is what we were able to do. Click for my posts that tell the behind-the-scenes story for some:
- Personalized packages of clothing and shoes for 15 families living at the “Hospital Hotel,” which is home to refugees experiencing devastating health issues.
- 5 weeks of groceries for everyone living at Hospital Hotel: Residents receive government food, which is nearly inedible and lacking nutrition. We supported a grassroots effort to supply groceries to supplement their diet. (see photo below)
- Clothing and shoes for several families living in tents and containers in the Souda and Dipethe camps.
- Grocery bags for 20 families suffering at the government-run camp called Vial. Read more: “Clandestine Milk Operation.”
- A personalized grocery bag for a single mom with two young and very thin children from Vial. Read more in “Warm fuzzies and cold realities.”
- Personalized package of clothing and shoes for one family at Vial.
- A field trip for 12 unaccompanied minors–you gave them haircuts and lunch in a restaurant. Read More: “Field Trip.”
- 5 Soccer balls for the unaccompanied minors. One ball goes to each group of them, so they can play whenever they want. (see photo)
- 44 Suitcases and 80 duffle bags for families leaving for Athens to continue their asylum interviews. They have collected belongings since arriving, but otherwise have no way to bring them with them to Athens. Read more in “Tiny Miracles Happen All The Time.”
- 32 Strollers for disabled children, single moms traveling alone with several kids, and people with several children heading to Athens. (see photo)
- Over 20 days of operating expenses for the Refugee Garden Kids in Istanbul. This money supports rent, food, clothing, medical supplies, education, and family support (so the kids don’t have to work in factories).
- 1 month of family support for one of Rory’s kids: He is 6 and was selling his toys in the street to feed his family. I have talked to this kid on FaceTime and adore him—very smart and loving. He has brothers and sisters, too. This $400 will cover one month of expenses, including rent and food, for his family. If you would like to sponsor more months for them, let me know and I can get your donations directly to them. Even $25 goes a very long way.
- Medicine and travel money to Athens for a very special family: One 16-year old girl who was tortured by the Taliban volunteered long hours as a translator at the hospital. Her father was killed by the Taliban, her brother is still missing, and her mother has a heart condition. We gave them $300 to buy medication for her mother and a safety net until they can get settled in Athens, where they were moved for their asylum interview.
The recipients of your gifts were extremely grateful, as am I. Thank you for turning your compassion into action, and for trusting me to use your donations to help those who need it most.
I have receipts for everything I purchased on Chios (total: $5,037.15), though I am still waiting to receive the receipt for the Hospital Hotel groceries. I don’t have receipts from Rory (total: $2,717.85) because her neighborhood is a mostly cash economy and she is unable to secure receipts.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about how your donations were used, please ask.
Much love and gratitude,