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Relief for the weary in Syria

The ongoing civil war in Syria has internally displaced more than 6 million civilians. Through support from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), families struggling with unstable security situations and exhausted by harsh living conditions are finding some relief.

Seliman is one such person. He is struggling to care for his two grandchildren after their parents died during an attack on Aleppo, Syria, and couldn't afford to buy soap, toothpaste, and other personal care items the children needed.

"Thank God, my house was not destroyed by the attacks, but my work has been negatively affected," said Seliman. "Before the crisis, I used to work in a construction workshop; however, I lost my job, and I became totally dependent on aid offered by NGOs [nongovernmental organizations]. You have no idea how very important the [hygiene] kits are to me and my grandchildren."

Aleppo, Syria, a mother receives nonfood essential items from an IOCC employee. PHOTO COURTESY OF IOCC.

A $90,000 grant from UMCOR provided hygiene, infant, dignity, and bedding kits for vulnerable people in Aleppo who were forced to leave their homes because of the seven-year war. UMCOR provides assistance through two implementing partner organizations, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and the Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development (DERD), the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch.

"I knew from friends that my house in Al Shaar (a neighborhood in eastern Aleppo) had been destroyed, but, thank God, we are still alive," said Khalil, a father of five. "It's hard for me to secure most of my family's needs. … However, I received bedding kits from IOCC/DERD, which made me and my wife so happy. We are so grateful."

UMCOR works globally to alleviate human suffering and advance hope and healing.

Bella DiFilippo, communication specialist for Mission Engagement from Global Ministries

One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, UMCOR Sunday calls United Methodists to share the goodness of life with those who hurt. Your gifts to UMCOR Sunday lay the foundation for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to share God's love with communities everywhere. The special offering underwrites UMCOR's "costs of doing business." This helps UMCOR to keep the promise that 100 percent of any gift to a specific UMCOR project will go toward that project, not administrative costs.

When you give generously on UMCOR Sunday, you make a difference in the lives of people who hurt. Give now.