Relief Bloomed into Friendship

I am truly and undoubtedly blessed.

The Benefit for Syria this last weekend on Saturday night was a success!  The loft that was kindly donated by a dear friend was turned into a safe haven filled with love and peace from dozens of beautiful people.  I felt incredibly honored to see my family, close friends and strangers who are now my friends come together in support of my humanitarian efforts.

We had a Children’s/Creative room for the young ones as well as the adults to create handmade cards for the children in Syria.  We had Syrian food, Persian snacks and sweets with Persian tea and Turkish coffee.  We had a silent auction with donated items such as: art, photography, prints, jewelry, and gift cards (if anyone is interested – there are items still available to be sold such as a variety of gift cards: The Music Factory, Javier’s, Couture Flowers by Kimberly Perry, Tri-Core Wellness and TriBeCa salon + beautiful jewelry from Gem Mountain Studio in Laguna Beach and 100% of the proceeds go to the Syrian refugees! Please email me for additional info).   We had a Turkish lounge room for our guests to sit, relax and get to know one another.  Sama generously offered her artistry via henna (a dye prepared from a plant that allows the art of a temporary tattoo) and MANY were beyond blessed with the outcome!  We had a live local and very talented musician, Brandon De La Cruz shower the benefit with his incredible voice + guitar.  We had a live painter, Tyler offer his time and talent to create a piece that he is still working on!  We had two beautiful eloquent belly dancers, Veronica and Isadora liven the energy of the benefit after my in depth and intense talk about my time in Syria.  Thank you ladies for raising the spirits of the benefit!  And lastly… we had the most genuine and giving individuals come out to support me and my humanitarian efforts to help the Syrian refugees!  It was such a blessing to witness so much love and kindness in one venue.  Thank you from the depths of my heart to all who came out to support and attend the benefit.  Thank you to all the individuals that participated by helping in planning and preparing the benefit.  Each one of you played a role in making the night turn out as great as it did!  I am beyond blessed for every single one of you and look forward to the next event 🙂

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I want to share with you all a very special message.

After having dozens and dozens of conversations about my humanitarian work in Syria, answering the questions of why and what for and reliving my experience in its entirety on my last trip, I came to an important realization.  Originally I chose to go over there to provide direct aid and relief to these suffering souls but I had no idea of what the real outcome would be until now.  I didn’t just buy medical supplies and food to feed many people…

–> I made connections and truly created friendships with individuals that I speak to on a weekly basis (when their internet is working efficiently for a Skype call).

I worry for them, as they worry for me (though they have no legitimate reason to ever worry for me).  So when I was speaking on Saturday night at my benefit explaining the aid I provided via toys, medical supplies and food, I missed the real point;

the real story that my presence, amongst these once-were-strangers gave each human being I met and came across… hope, refreshed and gladdened their spirits and reignited them to not give up the fight for their freedom and the salvation of their country.