At Thanksgiving our thoughts turn to gratitude, gatherings, and of course food.
We’d like to take this time to update you on Tocci’s 2014 “Feed Five” Syrian Refugee families. In the summer of 2014, Tocci found a practical but small way to help the Syrian Refugee crisis. Family friends living in Lebanon were attending a church on the outskirts of Beirut and began helping Syrian families. By partnering with a Lebanese NGO, they began by providing food vouchers to a few families. As they served these families, they became aware of many more refugee families living close by. As the number and needs of these families grew exponentially, Suzanne Lahoud wrote a grant and reached out to her connections to increase funding. Tocci employees responded to this call by donating $2 on Fridays as a part of our morning breakfast bagel routine raising $800 over four months. Tocci matched each month’s donations for a grand total of $1,600.
Last Sunday evening, November 22nd, program administrators, Suzie and Marvin Lahoud shared stories about their work with refugee families over dinner. The journey began in the spring of 2013 when they started helping eight families. Now they serve 325 families.
A small network of churches and a Lebanese NGO deliver food vouchers, blankets, milk, and diapers to Syrian families. And because it dignifies families to extend hospitality and because they hunger for conversation and a sense of normalcy Suzie and Marvin’s group brings supplies and visit with the families wherever they’re staying.
One father with tears of gratitude streaming down his face, due to the Lahoud’s arrival, said his family had only eaten Syrian bread for days. With that, a new family was added to the roster. The next time Marvin dropped by the mother opened the door smiling in anticipation, saying her son had a heavenly vision and knew that help had come.
Along the way there have been many stories of answered prayer—of sustenance, of hope, of connection, as well as healing…
A child with cancer healed, a dad imprisoned in a jail of no return then set free. Elderly, infirm relatives held up at the border crossing, were miraculously allowed to pass through.
Heroic stories of people with so very little helping others with even less. These are powerful stories of hope and generosity.