40 Foot Container Filled with Relief Supplies Shipped to Syrian Refugees

On December 6, 2011 Zakat Foundation of America, filled a 40 foot container of clothes, shoes, blankets, school supplies, toys, medical supplies, personal care, and other emergency relief items and shipped it to Syrian refugees in Turkey. The container is valued at about $150,000 and is now on its way to southeastern Turkey.

Funds for the shipment were collected from community members and some items, such as toys, jackets, shoes, and blankets, were purchased from local businesses. Zakat Foundation of America also collected new winter clothing, including hats, scarves, jackets, gloves, and socks, to aid refugees against the cold Turkish winter. A local business, Skip's Wholesale, provided blankets at a discounted price and donated blankets to the shipment as well.

As political unrest and a government crackdown in Syria continues, Syrians have fled to neighboring countries to settle temporarily. More than 7,500 Syrian refugees have fled to camps in Turkey, and others have sought refuge to either Lebanon or Jordan.

Refugees have reported witnessing sniper killings and beatings by Syrian security forces. Others reported crawling to the border for safety because of the presence of tanks and snipers. Over 4,000 people have been killed in the unrest. Syrian security forces have allegedly detained injured people seeking medical attention.

Zakat Foundation of America has been a dedicated supporter of Syrian refugees throughout this tumultuous time. When Syria’s political turmoil began in March Zakat Foundation of America's emergency relief efforts were launched. A health clinic was established in Wadi Khaled, 1 km from the border between Syria and Lebanon. In September 2011, Zakat Foundation of America opened its second medical clinic in Lebanon to serve Syrian refugees.

Zakat Foundation of America has also distributed daily food and water to thousands of refugees at the Syrian-Lebanese and Syrian-Turkish borders.

A Zakat Foundation of America representative in Lebanon stated that the refugees "left in a rush, leaving everything behind...so they need everything: from food to shelter, from baby formula to basic medical care." Zakat Foundation of America continues its efforts to providing humanitarian relief to the Syrian refugees.