Local groups look for ways to help Syrians caught in conflict

KING 5's Ted Land reports.

LYNNWOOD, Wash. -- A growing number of people in the U.S. are looking for ways to help Syrians caught in the conflict.

"There is a feeling of frustration, a feeling of shame, of being helpless," said Hussein Ali, a Syrian-American who lives in Lynnwood.

His family got lucky. They made it out of Syria just in time.

Fighters took their home two years ago and destroyed everything. Ali's family fled, like so many others, with pretty much the clothes on their backs.

They immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Lynnwood, but life is still difficult as they watch people who could be neighbors, friends or family members continue to suffer back home.

"It's a very, very sad crisis over there and they definitely deserve the help from us," said Ali, who is planning a community meeting at UW Saturday to gather volunteers and anyone who might be interested in helping Syrians. (The meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. on the second floor of Savery Hall).

They're looking for ways to send aid and explore the possibility of bringing some of those refugees to the U.S.

But it won't be easy. Just ask the Syrian American Coordination Committee of Washington, which just got back from a trip to Greece, where they provided medicine, clothing and food for refugees.

"(We're) not even scratching the surface. What we did was very miniscule in the grand scheme of things," said Alex Bashar Kabor, who was on the trip.

The war has been going on for years and the group says many people have become numb to the suffering. Donations aren't as strong as they once were.

"We try to help the displaced Syrians as much as we can, but it looks like the resources of the community in the Puget Sound area has been exhausted," said Kabor.

The deepening crisis and the painful images in the news this week are once again reminding the world that the conflict is only getting worse.

How you can help Syrian refugees:

  1. Donate to a humanitarian organization you trust (like World Vision and Medical Teams International).
  2. Volunteer or help with a local organization working to serve refugees (Office of Refugee Resettlement).


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