Sunday, October 27, 2013

Orthodox Church School Children helping Syrian Refugees with Care Packages

Children at St Elias Orthodox Church in LaCrosse, WI, set a glowing example for our Orthodox communities in America to follow. You can reach out to IOCC to learn how your parish can help.

by Pete Zervakis, WXOW — via Pravoslavie — 10/14/2013

The Syrian Civil war, which has been ongoing for roughly two and a half years, has claimed the lives of more than 100-thousand people.

The United Nations estimates the continued tensions between the government and rebel forces will have displaced 3.5-million people by the end of 2013.

Kids at La Crosse's St. Elias Orthodox Church are seeking to help the refugees displaced by the conflict.

Children from the church's Sunday school program Sunday put together what teacher Stacey Kalas called "hygiene kits."

The kids took up the challenge of assembling the care packages after being made aware by the International Orthodox Christian Charities that many Syrian refugees lack basic, hygienic supplies like towels or toothbrushes.

The hygiene kits, packaged in plastic bags, contain both -- as well as washcloths, nail clippers, soap, combs and Band-Aids.

Kalas said the kids spent the last several weeks collecting donated supplies and using monetary donations to buy others.

This week, they will mail roughly 50 hygiene packages to Syria.

"It's just a humanitarian project," Kalas said. "For us, it's a Christian project. But these packages won't necessarily go to other people who are Christians, and that's fine."

"They just go to people in need," she said.