Giving Back | Why I Sponsored A Syrian Child for Christmas

Last Modified: December 17, 2015 at 2:07 pm by Tianna | Leave a comment

why i sponsored a syrian child for christmas

Why I Sponsored A Syrian Child for Christmas

To say that the holidays are a time for giving back is something I truly take to heart, but with all that’s happened this year, I admit it’s been tough to get into the holiday spirit. What with all of the recent “terrorist” attacks on Paris, San Bernardino, and the insanity going on in Syria, you may be surprised to know that I sponsored a Syrian child this holiday season. You might also want to know why I sponsored a Syrian child for Christmas amidst everything going on. The short answer is: it’s Christmastime.

The Giving Web 

The long answer is a little more complicated. I’m lucky enough to have a good high school friend named Mary who is wildly successful. On top of her insane success (as an adult, in life), she is an incredibly generous person at heart and she actually co-founded a charity called The Giving Web. No, this post isn’t sponsored. My friend does great things for people in need and it’s the holidays so I thought I’d share. Since it’s around Christmas and Syrian refugees are pouring into the USA (and other countries), TGW decided to sponsor Syrian refugee families for the holidays. Mary told me about what they were doing and that I could sponsor a child’s Christmas so, of course, I wanted to help out any way I can.

Sponsoring A Child + Bringing Joy Amidst Tragedy

I know a lot of people don’t agree with allowing Syrian refugees into the country, but after doing my own research and reading so many personal stories on Humans of NY, I think it’s imperative we help these people. If I had any doubts left, all of them were removed when Mary told me about this family’s story. In short, the father and mother are living here with the aid of a local church, seeking refugee status visas. They have 4 children. All of the father’s 3 brothers were murdered by members of ISIS before they fled to the U.S. This family lives in a one bedroom apartment and I’m sure their holidays were looking pretty bleak up until people decided to help brighten their Christmas a bit, especially for the children who have probably had to grow up more quickly than other children. My friend told me I wasn’t allowed to post any photos or names online because the family is terrified of uploading photos to social media – this is the extent of ISIS terror – and I realized we must help these people. We cannot let terrorists divide us up with their cowardly fear tactics and exploitation of xenophobia. That’s just my opinion and, hence, why I decided to sponsor one of the children from this family.

What I Gifted

In opting to sponsor a Syrian child, we were given the name, gender, and age of the child along with some requirements of what to buy: 1 outfit, 1 gift/toy, and some school supplies. I was lucky to get a girl ( boys are so hard to shop for! ) so shopping was pretty easy. I ended up getting her a cute sweater and leggings, both with hearts on them. I also purchased some school supplies and, like any self-respecting Harry Potter fan – the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. My friend told me she was very excited to open her gifts so I hope she liked everything and that maybe this year brought some joy back to their lives. Tragedy is never easy, but we can help each other through it by reminding one another that there is still joy, friendship, kindness, love, and compassion in the world.

The Importance of Giving Back

While giving in this way isn’t always easy and I know some people can’t afford to do it, if you can, it’s a worthwhile thing to bring joy to someone else during the holidays (or any time). If you can’t afford to buy an expensive gift or commit to purchasing a bunch of items for someone in need, sometimes just passing out some cookies, offering your time at the local soup kitchen, participating in a canned food drive, or talking to someone who needs a shoulder is good enough. You may be surprised at how you can brighten someone’s day by doing little things. I don’t do a whole lot of talking about giving back because I think it should be a selfless act and I wouldn’t even be mentioning this if I didn’t want to help promote the good work that my friend does, to be honest with you, but I do think it’s an important thing to do. However little we have to give, we always have something to offer to others that can help in some way or another and I think it’s important to remind each other of the good in the world.

You can get involved with other charitable events and causes if you’re in the Southern California area with The Giving Web. You can sign petitions to help Syrian refugees at Humans of New York via, and you can donate and gift those in need in your area by typing any cause close to your heart into google search.

why i sponsored a syrian child for christmas

Also, I wanted to share that one of my posts was featured in the weekly roundup over at Independent Fashion Bloggers this week! Super stoked about that so I hope you’ll check out my post if you haven’t already as well as all these other great reads from lovely bloggers ♥

 Links à la Mode, December 17

Do You Give Back In Any Way During the Holidays?

Why or Why Not?


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15 thoughts on “Giving Back | Why I Sponsored A Syrian Child for Christmas

  1. December 18, 2015 at 5:35 AM

    This is such a beautiful idea! I feel so terrible for all of the Syrian refugees that people are refusing to aid! The presents you bought sound so lovely

    Steph –
    Stephanie Hartley recently posted…Nourish My Body | Daily Supplement IntakeMy Profile

    1. December 18, 2015 at 8:50 AM

      thanks Stephanie! It was a good experience – just bummed I didn’t get to meet them personally. I definitely feel pretty bad about what happened, but all we can do is try to help. hopefully she liked them! the presents were fun to pick out 🙂

  2. December 18, 2015 at 7:32 AM

    Such a beautiful post and a great way to celebrate the true meanings of the holidays! It’s nice to see that Syrian families are getting a bit of relief amount all the troubles they have had to experience. As naive as this sounds, Humans of NY really did open my eyes to how bad things really are. I’m sure the little girl will be beyond happy to have received your gifts!

    Clothes & Quotes

    1. December 18, 2015 at 8:52 AM

      thanks Shannon! While there’s a lot of racism/xenophobia going on toward Syrians given all the terrorism as of late, I think there are still relief efforts and compassion happening so that’s a good thing. And Humans of NY is so great. I had an idea of how bad it was already, but there’s something about hearing individual stories of these people that makes it feel a lot more real than any news report, you know? I hope you’re right! I know it’s not every kid’s dream to get a book for Christmas, but HP is my favorite and I think books are good for kids to escape into, especially if they are struggling.

  3. December 18, 2015 at 8:36 AM

    I love that you mentioned people can still give back even if they don’t have a ton of money. I’m finishing grad school, so I have almost no money to my name, but I can still donate time in my community to give back. Cheers to the holidays and so glad you shared this 🙂

    1. December 22, 2015 at 9:37 AM

      Definitely! I think people forget we can offer things other than just money to people. We can offer time, we can listen, smile, and offer words of encouragement too 🙂 congrats onfinishing grad school and happy holidays to you Kiara! ♥

  4. December 18, 2015 at 8:48 AM

    Actually I’m not surprised at all maybe because I think of you as a generous person and also because I refuse to believe that most of us are biggoted idiots who think all muslims and refiugees are terrorists and a potential threat…
    We have a family of Congolese refugees coming to our town thiss week nad I am donating the mum a bunch of clothes since we are the same size 🙂
    Helene @healthyfrenchie recently posted…Bredele: honey and spices Christmas cookiesMy Profile

    1. December 22, 2015 at 9:43 AM

      Thanks so much, Helene! I’m not doing that much, but it’s the least I can do. Living in the “first world,” as poor as some of us may feel, we still have more than so many other people in the world. It’s our social responsibility to lift other people up and help them seek a better life. And yes, Exactly. Even though people kept saying that because of the recent terrorism that people don’t want Syrian refugees here, the stats say something different entirely which surprised even me. I think something like 75% of Americans think we should offer aid to them so despite what the media says or how people think Americans hate Muslims or don’t want to help them, it’s clearly not true. that sounds lovely that you’re donating clothes to them! Anything helps and I think people appreciate the thought and extending a hand of friendship and compassion.

  5. December 18, 2015 at 10:09 PM

    This is such a wonderful idea!! I also read HoNY and get so wrapped up in their stories. I wish there was so much more that we {as a society} could do to help all people suffering in the world. But I guess every little bit helps. Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. December 22, 2015 at 9:30 AM

      thanks Ashleigh. I feel so lucky that I just happened to know someone who was already doing something great and I was able to opt in so easily. I know it’s hard to know what’s good to donate to or help out, at times, but I do think it’s really important. I definitely get wrapped up in all the HoNY stories as well. They’re so human and you can relate to the people – I guess that’s the point. I think even though we might feel we’re not doing enough, like you said, every little bit helps and the little bits can add up to a very big result. thanks for stopping by ♥

  6. December 20, 2015 at 3:15 PM

    I think regardless of what is going on in the world, there are so many innocents out there and that you sponsored isn’t at fault for the actions of people who he may share a nationality, religion or homeland with. I think it’s great what you did. I understand why some people are hesitant about taking in refugees but you can’t label a group by the ones who make the most noise, ya know?
    Happy holidays

    1. December 22, 2015 at 9:34 AM

      exactly! that’s totally how I feel about it too. Just how we may share a country/religion/nationality with others who have done bad things, it doesn’t mean we are bad, you know? It doesn’t mean we should be shunned, judged or otherwise alienated because of those people. I think we should be doing the opposite, actually, and supporting each person as best we can. I love how you put it – ” you can’t label a group by the ones who make the most noise” SO TRUE! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Dia – I really appreciate it! Happy holidays to you ♥ ♥ ♥

  7. Anusha
    December 22, 2015 at 3:30 AM

    This post touched my heart .You have a heart of gold Tianna. The more i know you ,the more you are amazing .

  8. Kiki
    December 22, 2015 at 10:58 AM

    Reading your post and the subsequent comments have really brightened my heart. I’m happy to see so many wonderful people in this world that are filled with compassion and a deeper understanding of the things, people, places that make up our small world. I’ve donated in little ways too and I think that’s wholly important, especially during this time of year when so many people have so few in one way or another. I can never tell you just how I feel that I’ve found your blog. As I was reading, my heart which has felt so heavy lately, was lifted momentarily. I’m happy to read about your friend’s kind heart and yours as well. ♥

    1. December 22, 2015 at 11:21 AM

      I’m so glad to brighten your day a little bit 🙂 Helping others always makes me feel great and I love giving back to people who need a helping hand up whether that’s with money, gifts, or just by listening. I think compassion and understanding are so important to bridging the gap between our cultures, societies, etc. It’s wonderful that we can all connect online and in life and make small changes that add up to bigger change. ♥

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