CARLSBAD, CA. — The Leichtag Foundation today said it was providing $75,000 in emergency grants for Aleppo emergency medical relief, and called for North County residents to do the same.
“Leichtag Foundation has approved emergency grants to Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and the White Helmets, which are both providing relief directly to the citizens of Aleppo,” officials said. “We have identified these organizations in consultation over the last 48 hours with our most trusted partners working on the ground inside Syria. These organizations are vetted.”
Officials provided details of the Leichtag contributions, adding that local residents wishing to contribute to the medical aid effort could contact vetted groups and do the same. Groups, with amounts donated by Leichtag, included:
1. $50,000 to the Syrian American Medical Society
The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) is a nonpolitical, nonprofit medical relief organization that is working on the front lines of crisis relief in Syria and neighboring countries to alleviate suffering and save lives. SAMS provides medical care and treatment to every patient in need, as well as medical training to civilian first responders. In 2015 alone, they treated more than 2.3 million civilians in Syria and 320,000 Syrian refugees outside of Syria; SAMS supported over 100 medical facilities and more than 1,700 medical personnel.
To learn more about the life-saving medical relief that SAMS provides, visit:http://foundation.sams-usa.net/healthcare-medical-relief-work/
2. $25,000 to the White Helmets
This homegrown search-and-rescue force, which operates in rebel-controlled Syria, including Aleppo, has saved tens of thousands of their countrymen over the course of the conflict.
The Syria Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets due to their distinctive hard hats, is comprised of former tailors, bakers, teachers and other ordinary Syrians who have banded together. It is estimated that the White Helmets have saved more than 73,500 lives – pulling bombing victims out of rubble, raising money for prosthetics, and supporting the families of fallen comrades. Because of the work they do, White Helmet volunteers and their civil defense centers have been repeatedly targeted; Russian and Syrian regime planes bomb civilians, and then they circle back bomb the rescue workers and medical workers who come to help, in routine “double tap” attacks.
Contributions to their “hero fund” are used to pay for medical care for injured White Helmets, to help them get back on their feet, as well as supporting families of volunteers killed in action. To learn more about the work of the White Helmets, visit: https://www.whitehelmets.org/
“We understand these donations are mostly symbolic,” Leichtag officials said. “Now is the time for governments to intervene. But we refuse to settle for inaction and we refuse to be silent.
Leichtag continued: “The Jewish community has learned the high price of silence. We honor the legacy of Lee and Toni Leichtag, who were the children of immigrants and among the first donors to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. They believed ‘never again’ meant standing up in the face of atrocities. We make these grants in their honor.”
The Leichtag Foundation honors the legacy of Lee and Toni Leichtag through igniting and inspiring vibrant Jewish life, advancing self-sufficiency and stimulating social entrepreneurship in coastal North San Diego County and Jerusalem.
The Leichtag Foundation focuses its funding on four strategic areas:
1. Building self-sufficiency in the North San Diego County Coastal Region through giving people the tools and services they need in order to break the cycle of poverty.
2. Promoting and building a vibrant Jewish life and infrastructure in San Diego’s North County Coastal Region.
4. Supporting renewal and bridging social and economic gaps in Jerusalem.
5. Building connections between San Diego and Israel through engagement, relationship building, and interest alignment.
For more information visit http://www.leichtag.org.