February 9, 2023

Support for Turkey and Syria

This month we are kicking off our stewardship campaign and asking members and friends to embrace a spirit of generosity. 

Against this backdrop, we awoke Monday to hear of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. We see the collapsed buildings across our news feeds. And we’ve watched the death toll climb. As of Wednesday morning, reports are that over 11,000 have died.  

It’s easy to want to rush by the images of loss and desperation. It is far away. What can we even do that would matter? 

As a start we can pause and take time to feel compassion for those suffering. We can recognize their painful experiences. We can imagine the immediate and long-term needs of the many communities in the region. As we bear witness, we are strengthened in our ability to care and reach out. The pause matters. 

We can be generous. When considering where to donate in times of international struggle, my first check is always to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) website. The UUSC is the humanitarian arm of Unitarian Universalism and was founded back in 1940 to help refugees escape Nazi persecution. Today UUSC’s mission is “to advance human rights and social justice around the world, partnering with those who confront unjust power structures and mobilizing to challenge oppressive policies. Our work is grounded in the belief that all people have inherent power and dignity.”

In some instances the UUSC provides direct support during tragedy, and more often the UUSC works through trusted partnerships with those already in place to provide direct support to a region. For those wanting to donate to support the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, the UUSC recommends the International Rescue Committee and the The White Helmets as reliable organizations for your donations. 

We send our love and care to all affected by this tragedy. As we live out the value of generosity, we make a difference.

In care, 

Rev. Sue