When Fresno State student, Nancy Mohamed, discovered many Syrian refugee families relocated to Turlock, CA and needed basic necessities such as clothing and toiletries, she took action by spreading the word and advocating via social media.
After she made her Facebook profile public and posted the information on her page, Nancy was overjoyed by all the feedback she received. Immediately, Nancy’s post went viral and obtained Facebook messages from close friends, acquaintances, people from the area, and non-locals. In fact, Nancy got so many inquiries that she spent at least two hours a day responding to those interested in helping!
Not only were people interacting with Nancy via social media, but many others went out of their way to volunteer. One couple in Merced offered to use their offices as “drop-off sites” for donations, and drove to Turlock multiple times in order to drop off the
donations. These stories touched Nancy and positively affected many Syrian refugee families. Nancy elaborated on this by claiming, “They’ve restored my faith in humanity.”
Though these random acts of kindness have helped many families, the need for service does not stop there. Many Syrian families in Turlock now have the basic necessities to begin their new lives; but, the need goes beyond these families and extends to the larger
Central Valley. These families, too, need the basic necessities in order to start their lives. There are now 18 families living in the El Dorado Park Community. The Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries website has a list of monetary and non-monetary needs. Additionally, they list ways that people can volunteer.
If a student is interested in helping on campus, the newly established club No Lost Generation (NLG) Fresno State is a great place to start. No Lost Generation is a nationally student-driven initiative aimed to raise awareness and educate students about the Syrian
refugee crisis. In their mission statement, NLG Fresno State is a student group “founded to support Syrian refugees by promoting awareness, fundraising, and helping them gain access to education”. To stay updated on NLG Fresno State club meetings, you can follow them on twitter using the handle @NLG_FS.
Nancy was able to influence many people to make a difference in others’ lives. Her one post created a chain reaction that many families were able to benefit from. Whether you are at a site volunteering or advocating independently, it is important to realize how one random act of kindness can go a long way.
What chain reaction can you help create?