A few days ago, I had the chance to participate in Chicago’s Hot Chocolate 5k/15k Run along with many of other Syrians. Some of us were volunteering while others were running to raise money.
The annual Chicago race aims at raising money for the Ronald McDonalds House that provides temporary housing for many families in need when their children have extended stays in the hospital. In all, more than 40,000+ runners – young and old – who ran either the 5k or 15k around Chicago – a beautiful city with more green spaces than you might imagine and some remaining fall colors in the trees.
The group of Syrians who participated in the race raised an additional set of funds that will contribute to the humanitarian efforts to save and comfort the lives of Syrians. In all, this group gathered together nearly $40,500 in contributions over a two-week period.
Another group of Syrians – myself included – volunteered to help with the distribution of the runners’ gear and finish line gifts. This is the second experience that I have had as volunteer in this race and it always makes me feel good that I am giving back to Chicago in a small way. This year is especially meaningful to me because I was very proud to see my fellow Syrians trying to raise awareness about Syria too – and contribute to needs of Chicago’s families.
We are – after all – one-humanity and one people; and we can’t focus on one problem and forget the others. In some way or another, we are all connected to everything and each other.
We care about Syria and the US and other countries as well. There are people in need in every country around the world and reaching out to them and supporting them in one way or another is what really makes us human.
Giving is contagious. When we receive a gift we want to give to others.
We should never give up or think that our contribution won’t matter because if we put a small effort once in a while we will be able to change someone’s life somewhere around the world.