The support and kindness that we have received from you over the last two and a half weeks has been incredible. To date, we have raised $8,820. Thank you so much. We are leaving tomorrow night on a 10:30pm direct flight to Amman, Jordan. Everything has been organized, reserved, purchased and even shipped in some cases (see below) and we are ready to go. This is our first update. As promised, we will be writing to all of you over the next week to keep you updated on our progress and to shed some new light on a very sad conflict.
So here is the schedule. We will spend Saturday and Sunday in Amman shopping with a few local volunteers. Catherine (Director of Resource Distribution at Mercy Corps and our amazing contact who has helped us every step of the way) has identified a few of the most needed items for Syrian refugees living in and around Mafraq, Jordan (see map). She and local volunteers have established a network of dealers who sell items in huge quantities which are then sorted and shipped north. We have already ordered a shipment of powdered milk and formula that is being delivered to Mafraq on Tuesday. We’ll additionally be buying second-hand clothing and shoes for adults and children and sanitary items (i.e soap, diapers, feminine hygiene products). To give you an idea of the amount that is needed, between 2,500-4,000 refugees arrive in Jordan each day and there are hundreds of thousands of people already there. After we purchase the items, they’ll be sent to Catherine’s sorting center where we will help to organize them and load them into trucks to be shipped north. We will then drive to Mafraq and spend the following days distributing items and visiting with families.
It is going to be very difficult but Demetri and I are excited to be able to help. We’ve talked with Catherine quite a bit about the state of affairs. People are really traumatized; many are wounded, and the situation is truly getting worse each day. A little goes a long way and the fact that we’ve raised close to $9,000 is just incredible. The impact of what we’ve all been able to do is going to be immediately felt and we are really looking forward to being your eyes on the ground.