One of my favorite memories during my trip to Greece was bonding with these boys from Oreokastro refugee camp in #Thessaloniki. With a language barrier between us, I leaned on technology to connect us. #Snapchat lenses were a hit (as you can see here). What isn't pictured here is the pain I felt leaving them at the end of the day. Providing a light-hearted distraction was important, but it didn't feel like enough. I left wanting to do more, but felt limited by what was possible in that moment.
My entire visit to Greece left me with mixed emotions. I was happy to be on the ground making connections, but was frustrated by the little impact I had on this crisis. At the end of my trip, I was able to fly home and move forward with my life. It hurt me that the same opportunity wasn't possible for the men, women and children I met in camps.
I mention this today because it is with great excitement that I share a big milestone for this humanitarian mission my Family and I - with the support of a very generous community - embarked on a year and a half ago. With the help of The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, $200k in grants will be allocated to support the refugees currently in camps throughout Greece. With a focus on education and healthcare, this money will go to stabilizing the lives of refugees who fled their homes in hopes for a peaceful future.
I think of these boys from Oreokastro today and think abt the possibilities these grants can provide them and others like them.
I recognize that all efforts - no matter how small - put towards helping other human beings are efforts worth making. With perseverance and a dash of hope, these small continuous efforts may one day make a milestone. ✨A special thank you to @awoodss_ and @smw65 for speaking on behalf of this humanitarian mission and winning us these grants!