Posted on: Tue, December 05, 2017 at 9:01
Nantucket Lighthouse School students were gifted with an early opportunity to leap into the season of giving this year. Young and impressive Syrian-American Ala'a El-Shaar came to Nantucket with Laura Quereshi (wife of Dermatologist Dr. Abrar Quereshi) and attended a special All School Meeting to share information about the situation in Syria and her experiences working with the many refugee children who are living in camps in Jordan.
She tailored her talk to accommodate our various age groups, and then the younger classes left early so she could go into more depth with our older students and answer their many questions. She spoke of the PTSD all refugees are experiencing because of what has happened to them, and of the many children whom have not been able to attend school because of the crisis there and thus have not yet had the opportunity to learn much, including the Arabic alphabet. She wrote this alphabet out on a chalkboard and then spelled requested words and phrases for us.
Led by our middle school students, the Lighthouse community eagerly gathered items and created care packages to send with Dr. Quereshi on his service trip with Helping Hands USA. Every Lighthouse student drew and painted an image which were made into heart tags. Mike Pasch's 5/6th grade students knitted items, made small notebooks and enthusiastically helped to pack 80 burlap care bags filled with crayons, paper, assorted toys, and dental products. Michael Cvetich's 7/8th grade students helped to organize a successful winter clothing drive.
Imagine our surprise when we received the above photo of children at a camp on the Syrian border holding our Nantucket Lighthouse School banner.
For their kind contributions, we thank the 5/6th Grade Class for donating their Bake Sale proceeds to purchase items for the care packages. A special thank you to Lighthouse families for donating winter clothing and assorted toys. Thank you Bookworks for donating various toys and treats; Dr. Roy and Sue Davis for donating very necessary toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss; the Toy Boat for contributing small wooden toys; and the Sunken Ship for donating glider kits.
A warm and heart-felt thank you to the Quereshi family and to Nantucket relief coordinator, Rachel Dixon, for including us in this effort.
Lizbet Carroll Fuller