The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Korean Church of Boston recently held a unique fundraiser to assist Presbyterian Disaster Assistance efforts to help Syrian refugees. The church hosted a benefit concert in collaboration with the Hwaum Boston Chamber Orchestra and several community sponsors.
“Our church showed a video this fall about the problems facing Syrian refugees and one of our members was so moved by it, they decided to do something to help,” said church elder Jason Kim. “Working with community and orchestra leaders, we were able to schedule and organize the concert.”
Kim says the church utilized print and online advertising as well as word of mouth to generate interest in the community. As a result, more than 100 people attended the recent event. Between the attendees and 20 local organizations, more than $4,000 was raised for PDA’s Syria mission.
“Mr. Razek Siriani, a deacon with the Syrian Orthodox Church delivered a short message during the intermission,” said Kim. “Several members of his church were also in attendance. We saw many people silently weeping. They were very moved. In fact, there is already talk of additional concert or fundraisers being scheduled in the Boston area.”
“There are more than 7.5 million people displaced inside Syria with more than four million seeking refuge,” said Susan Krehbiel, catalyst for refugees and asylum with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. “Communities have been destroyed and families dispersed. The majority of Syrian refugees continue to live in the neighboring countries in great need of medical care, sanitation, food, water, shelter and safety. As Syrians face their fourth winter since the conflict began, heating and shelter supplies are a priority for relief efforts.”
PDA has been working with church partners and alliances to provide assistance to refugees in the Middle East and Europe and those internally displaced in Syria. The recent shootings in San Bernardino, California, have generated debate in the U.S. over whether to allow refugees to enter the country.
“This concert was truly inspiring,” said Krehbiel. “In one event, the Korean Church has sent a message of love to the Syrian refugees overseas and raised awareness in their own community.”