February 20, 2017
By LINDSEY RYAN
MARBLEHEAD — A community donation drive to collect items needed by Syrian refugees is pushing toward its goal of filling a 40-foot container for shipment by month’s end.
Members of Swampscott Unites, Respects and Embraces (SURE) are working with local organizations SPUR and The Rotary Club of Marblehead Harbor to collect donations for Nu Day Syria to help refugees. Nu Day Syria is a nonprofit organization that aids Syrian refugees as well as citizens living in Syria.
“I think it’s such a positive thing to turn the sentiments into action. I think it’s huge to do it together, to be reminded of how many around you are as concerned and as desiring to make an impact,” said volunteer Susannah Ketchum Glass.
Donations for Syrian refugees are being sorted at the Marblehead Community Charter Public School through this month. The volunteers have been sorting and packing clothing, as well as medical supplies, canned food and other items ranging from shampoo to sleeping bags, sanitary pads and toys.
Swampscott resident Keli Khatib’s husband is Syrian and the local woman called the collection effort “near and dear to our hearts.” Khatib has done previous work for the organization, helping with sorting donations.
“The need for donations for these containers, because they are expensive, is great … People want to help … so we just encourage them to get involved,” said Khatib.
Rosaleen Doherty, chairwoman of the Rotary Club of Marblehead Harbor’s service committee, said the organization’s motto, “Service Above Self,” mirrors the refugee assistance effort.
“It’s inspiring to see so many individuals and organizations come together so immediately and so generously to work together to address this humanitarian need,” she said.
For questions about donations, please contact Doherty at Right at Home Senior Care at 978-234-0672 or Right at Home Senior Care at 978-744-5151.
Marblehead businesses and organizations including Coldwell Banker, 2 Atlantic Ave.; Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA, 40 Leggs Hill Road; Marblehead Community Center, 10 Humphrey St.; National Grand Bank, 91 Pleasant St.; St. Andrews Church, 135 Lafayette St.; and Residential Front Porch, 5 Trager Road, are accepting donations during business hours.
In Swampscott, Swampscott Atlantic Hearing Care, Suite 1G, 990 Paradise Road; Eastern Bank, 405 Paradise Road; First Church Congregational, 40 Monument Ave. (accepting from 10 a.m. to noon); and the Swampscott Senior Center, 200 Essex St., are accepting donations.
Donations can also be delivered directly to the warehouse at the Marblehead Community Charter Public School, 17 Lime St., on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more information about Nu Day Syria, visit nudaysyria.net or the organization’s Facebook page. For updates and more information about the February Collection for Nu Day Syria, visit The Rotary Club of Marblehead Harbor’s website at www.rcomh.org or the club’s Facebook page. For updates and specific volunteer opportunities, visit SPUR’s website at www.spur.community or its Facebook page, or S.U.R.E.’s Facebook page.