Help a Syrian Family of 6


A young family from Syria living in suburban Chicago needs your help. They are warm, sweet people doing everything they can to adapt to life in the US. The father, Ahmad, is a professional tailor who made designer jeans in Syria. The war and violence led him to flee the country with his pregnant wife and children. They lived in refugee housing in Jordan for the three years it took to process refugee status with final, legal placement in the USA in August 2016.

Along with the challenges of being a new immigrant, Ahmad has a very significant physical challenge. He has a disability resulting from childhood polio that confines him to a wheelchair. He is currently struggling to work full-time at Dearborn Denim, a custom jeans manufacturing business in Chicago. The public transportation commute takes 1-1/2 hours each way. It is also physically painful for him to work a forty-hour week. Additionally, because he works, Ahmad’s disability benefits have evaporated, and he loses as much as $600/month, despite having to rent a handicapped-accessible apartment that costs over $500 more than the comparable standard housing for a family of six.

Other challenges include paying back a $5300 loan that covered the airfare to the U.S., easing the anxieties of a wife who is struggling to recover from PTSD, and providing for four boys ages 3 to 10. With two children under five at home, his wife has little time for herself to access the resources and therapy needed for her recovery.

A recent article published by the Syrian Community Network spotlights the family here .


The family wants to be independent and self-supporting, but they need time and they just need a chance. A group of friends have joined together to "adopt" this immigrant family. We have successfully been able to assist with obtaining subsidized CTA eligibility for Ahmad, physical therapy, and accommodative braces for his back and legs. This dedicated group of volunteers has taken the 4 boys on numerous outings including the zoo, regular visits to local parks, and an outdoor mall with children's activities. They also assist with transportation to medical appointments for the family, English language training for all, and job training for his wife. Additionally, one of our newest endeavors for the family is teaching Ahmad to drive and obtaining a handicap accessible van. This will enable the family to have even greater independence, will reduce Ahmad's commute time to work, and will increase their mobility.

The first round of our fundraising has succeeded beyond what we imagined, and we are blown away by your generosity. We are also incredibly grateful to have received $1000 as the June recipients of GoFundMe's Gives Back award. Now that Ahmad and his family have been able to renew their lease, we would like to ensure they have assistance through the end of the lease term, as well as meeting their other financial obligations. Your contributions and sharing the link to this campaign can help make this happen!

We are grateful to Tim T., a friend of Ahmad's. Tim has been instrumental in helping him find employment with Dearborn Denim, drive him and the family to countless medical appointments, and navigate the incredibly complex system of disability assistance. Tim will be helping the family by disbursing your donations for expenses that include rent, loan repayment, transportation, and other financial needs.

Donations ()

  • Mary Zima 
    • $25 
    • 24 mos
  • Maryam Syed 
    • $50 
    • 26 mos
  • Lynn Heumann 
    • $100 
    • 31 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $1,000 
    • 31 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 31 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Rachel Leiner 
Mount Prospect, IL
Ahmad and Family 
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