Coming Together for Syrian Refugees

By Adely, Hannan | The Record (Bergen County, NJ), January 4, 2015 | Go to article overview

Coming Together for Syrian Refugees


Adely, Hannan, The Record (Bergen County, NJ)


PATERSON -- Troubled by war and devastation in his native Syria, Mervan Dalko wanted to do something to help the victims who have been displaced, injured or left destitute because of fighting.

So on Saturday, he joined about 100 volunteers at the Islamic Center of Passaic County at a three-day winter clothing drive for Syrians affected by war. The drive evoked such a large response that the organizers had to order a second 40-foot trailer to hold all the donated goods.

"Here is something we can do," said Dalko, 26, of Clifton. "They can at least stay warm and know there is some hope out there and know there are people out there who care about them."

The drive, which continues through today, is sponsored by Helping Hand for Relief and Development, a global humanitarian relief and development organization. The Islamic Center of Passaic County helped to coordinate the drive and is serving as a central location for 16 drop-off points in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, said the mosque's office manager, Hamid Imam.

Outside the Paterson mosque Saturday, volunteers went through piles of clothing, coats, shoes and diapers to fold and sort into boxes labeled by item for men, women and children. Volunteers also placed handwritten notes into the boxes with words of support and encouragement for the Syrian people.

They included many Muslim teenagers and college students of different ethnic backgrounds who have learned about the strife in Syria from the news, from friends, and at mosques.

Werdeh Hassan, 15, of Cliffside Park said she wanted to help because she had seen how much people are struggling as a result of the 3 1/2-year conflict. …

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