The Wilde Olive Blog: Letters of Hope.


Letters of Hope.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Every time I get to work with CARE, there's at least one story that weighs on my heart and brings me to tears. Working in a helping profession and just living our lives as everyday Americans, we become so desensitized to what is really happening in the world. I don't mean we don't KNOW what is going on, but we can't really stop our lives to experience the kind of empathy and compassion that other humans deserve.

I am at fault as much as anyone. Everyday I go to work and hear people's struggles. Their stories are filled with wars within their homes, their fight with addiction, health, finding a job, being able to pay their bills, and now ultimately being on the verge of losing everything because of illness or injury. It's hard sometimes to find my compassion and my "be the hands and feet of Jesus" mantra slips away with stories of noncompliance, drug use, alcohol abuse, and up to no good, shouldn't have put yourself in that situation scenarios, so I fail over and over again.

Then, a story comes along that I am so disconnected to in my life, like 16 year old Sajeda, who longed so badly to stay in the only home she'd ever known, she hid in the attic when her parents insisted that it was time to leave as the barrel bombing intensified in her Syrian town. 

“When someone asks me,” Sajeda says, “’What was the most precious thing you left behind in Syria?’ I say that I left myself.”
 Sajada, her mother and siblings are living in Jordan, just across the Syrian border.

 Sajada's family is  a recipient of  aid from CARE and she was chosen to be the recipient of a special delivery. CARE teamed up World War II refugees now living in the US that were the recipients on the original CARE Packages and children of Syrian refugee families. So, a woman named Helga, living in Colorado Springs, CO wrote to Sajada about her own experience of being a refugee and it's a beautiful story.

“I know first hand what it’s like to lose a home and become a refugee,” Helga’s letter reads, describing her youth in Berlin, Germany, during World War II.

 As Sajeda reads Helga's story of how a family of an American GI sent her CARE Packages and how she would evenually meet that soldier, Leo and marry him, she finds hope and connection with someone she would not know otherwise.

“Helga,” she says, “made me feel like I exist.”
My retelling of this story does it no justice, you have to read the rest of Sajeda and Helga's story and listen to Helga read the letter she wrote. Then, I encourage you and your families to write your own words of hope and inspiration to other Syrian refugee children. We are not so removed from each other when we take the time to listen to one another's stories.

This project has changed my heart and encouraged me to be a little more compassionate, empathetic, and feel deeply how connected we all really are. CARE seems to have a way of making us a part of the bigger, greater good in the world while we focus on our own families and duties in our homes.

CARE has provided more than two million Syrians with humanitarian relief. They send food baskets and grocery cards, emergency shelter and hygiene kits. The most basic of needs for people who have nothing left of their homes they once knew. Now the Syrian conflict has reached the five-year mark and CARE came up with a way to reach people on a deeper level, not only giving the necessities, but giving them Hope, when they are growing weary. .

If you watch the video and see how hope can be found in the smallest sentiment, make sure you take a second and send a heartfelt message of hope and solidarity, no matter where you live. (here --> is where you can write a letter that may then be translated and sent to a refugee.) Then please share this message with your friends, family and social networks by inviting them to express their own compassion, encouragement and hope for Syrian refugee. #withSyria 

My personal letter: 

"We see you, we hear your stories, we have hope for you and your country to be restored. We serve an amazing God who loves and cares for his children. It can seem that this world is dark but cling to HOPE for a better tomorrow! Never give up!" #withsyria

You can use the share buttons below to share this story with friends and family, please do. 

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