The #ygkChallenge is an ongoing series where we dare you to be different, resolve to be better, and or do something awesome in support of our beloved community. Each week, Kingstonist establishes a new, ambitious or quirky goal, encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone and do something great, and hopefully a little out of the ordinary. By taking part in this community-wide initiative, we hope to make Kingston (and the world) a slightly better place to live, work and play.
This week’s #ygkChallenge encourages you to:
Speak up for Aleppo. While YGK Challenges are typically all about making a difference locally, today’s post has a more global focus, but one that is extremely important, and affects us all. The war in Syria has had a huge impact on the lives of many throughout the region and is at peak crisis level in the city of Aleppo as we speak. Syrians living in Aleppo are being murdered in the streets as they try to escape the horrors of the war that has plagued their country for nearly six years. It is devastating to turn on the news to hear of the atrocities that these innocent people are facing everyday and it can make us feel incredibly powerless sitting in our safe, comfortable homes watching it all happen. This week, we need to take action. There are many ways that we, as Canadians and as Kingstonians can help those who are suffering, as well as the over 200 refugees who have thankfully escaped and joined our community. For starters: write your MP. Kingston MP Mark Gerretsen can be reached at [email protected]. Write him and tell him that you are horrified by what is happening in Syria and ask what the Canadian government is doing to help. Outside of Kingston? Find your MP here. Next: make a donation. I know, most of us are tapped out at this time of year but even $5 can go a long way to help those helping on the front lines. White Helmets, The International Rescue Committee and Médecins Sans Frontiers will gratefully accept any amount you can contribute. Locally, you can contact Refugee Resettlement Services Kingston to find out how you can help. They are currently looking for interpreters, people to help with housing searches, child care, fundraising and general support. Perhaps you even have an employment opportunity for someone who is new to the community. I know many of us are feeling helpless and it can be easy to think there is nothing we can do but there are things we can do and this week, we challenge you to take this on.
Join us in completing this week’s #ygkchallenge by liking it on Facebook and/or re-Tweeting it on Twitter. By liking and sharing, you’re not only committing to doing something great, but you’re also helping us spread the word and hopefully encouraging others to participate.
Credit to Médecins Sans Frontiers for today’s photo.