Before Christmas Season, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II launched “Warm Christmas” initiative to support Syriac Orthodox families in Syria and Lebanon. The aim of this initiative is to enable as many families as possible to purchase diesel for heating during this harsh winter.
Many have positively responded to this initiative. They have shown solidarity with their brothers and sisters. It is a reflection of the power of unity in the church and a confirmation of St. Paul’s words: “if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (I Corinthians 12: 26).
In this regard, we gladly report that many Syriac Orthodox Archdioceses in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and the Gulf countries, as well as some individuals, have taken His Holiness’ initiative seriously and generously donated to help their brothers and sisters in Syria and Lebanon.
While we continue to receive the donations, we have started distributing financial aid to the families. In the first phase, between Christmas and Epiphany, we were able to distribute more than USD 175,000 to 4,900 families in the different Syriac Orthodox Archdioceses in Syria and Lebanon. Hereafter is a summary of the distributions completed during the first phase:
Archdiocese of Jazeera and Euphrates 1,000 Families
Archdiocese of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs 1,000 Families
Archdiocese of Aleppo and Environs 1,000 Families
Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus 1,000 Families
Total of USD 140,000 4,000 Families
Archdiocese of Beirut 120 Families
Archdiocese of Mount Lebanon 680 Families
Patriarchal Vicariate in Zahleh and Beqaa 100 Families
Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh
Total of USD 35,000 900 Families
Total in Syria and Lebanon: USD 175,000 4,900 Families
For further information about the donors and recipients, a detailed list which includes all names and amounts is available upon request.
In the second phase, we are hopeful to be able to distribute the rest of the donations to new families by the end of January 2023.
We would like to thank all the contributors who have generously participated in this initiative. We appreciate your kindness and support without which this initiative would not have been successful. With your help, we were able to bring warmth to many families who are grateful to you.