Danny & Lauren Return to Lesvos

WE ARE HEADED BACK FOR A THIRD YEAR TO LESVOS, GREECE!

Our story. We are Danny and Lauren from Chicagoland.  We met while in college and got married in 2015.  We have always had a heart for refugees as we volunteered locally with refugee resettlement in Chicago.  When we saw on the news the stories of thousands arriving on the Islands in Greece in late 2015 and the beginning of 2016, we knew we wanted to help.  We reached out to some different contacts and found an opportunity to go for 6 weeks to serve in the main camp on the island of Lesvos. We quickly raised support, bought plane tickets, packed our bags and flew to Lesvos.  We volunteered for the next 6 weeks, and we were able to serve in every aspect the NGO was responsible for at the time.  When those 6 weeks were coming to an end, we realized we weren’t going anywhere...this is where we were meant to be. During that time, we fell in love with the friends we met in camp and the humanitarian aid work we were able to do.  We were also overwhelmed and excited by all that we saw God doing, and we wanted to be a part of His movement here.

Over the last two years in the refugee camp, we have been able to serve in several ways. The first three months (July to September 2016) we distributed food, guarded family compounds, played with children, built shelter units, cleaned the camp, found housing for new families, and delivered clothing.  In October 2016, we were asked to step into the role of being shift coordinators for the NGO.  We work with 15-30 volunteers on a shift, and we facilitate the responsibilities that need to be accomplished each day.  The NGO’s largest responsibility in the camp is shelter allocation, or finding housing for the new arrivals from Turkey after they are processed by the Greek Authority.  This entails going to housing units and negotiating with the current residents to make additional space for new arrivals, as well as building new tents throughout the camp, which all becomes rather difficult with 7,000 people in the camp when the capacity should be 3,000. We are also responsible for the distribution of clothing, bedding, hygiene products, and food to all of the new arrivals-- about 1,200 refugees per month in 2018. Other responsibilities are providing care and security for families and vulnerable cases, completing maintenance projects, and distributing diapers, clothing, and other non-food-items. We are always looking for more volunteers to come for any length of time (example 2 weeks, 1 month or even 3 months).  Please feel free to reach out to us on Facebook or email, and we can provide you the details of how to come and serve.  

As we return for our third year to volunteer as coordinators for the NGO in the camp, we are very excited about this opportunity.  Although the boats arriving on the Aegean islands are not on the news in America anymore, the crisis is far from over. On Lesvos this year, we have had over 6,000 new arrivals from Turkey with the majority still coming from Syria.  But in order to return to our work in Greece, we need your help!  Would you consider joining our support team by partnering with us and giving financially toward the next year of our work in Lesvos?  The funding that we raise will cover a number of expenses for us including rent, utilities, car maintenance, gasoline, plane and ferry tickets, visas, groceries, toiletries, health insurance and other expenses.  We are trying to raise the funds before we leave on June 21, 2018, but we will gladly receive donations after that throughout the year.  We cannot go without your support!  We were able to go and stay for the last two years because so many faithful friends and family members decided to give because they believe in what we are doing.  As you consider supporting us and the work we are doing in the camp, we encourage you to think about the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have been forced to leave their homes because of war, persecution, and terrorism.  By choosing to support us,  it not only means so much to us but also to the refugees we will be able to serve.  In serving them, we will bring hope, peace, and compassion in the midst of so much suffering and loss that they have experienced.  We would love to share with you more about what we are doing in the camp.  Please message us on Facebook or send us an email, and we can continue the conversation there.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!


A recent refugee boat that arrived on Lesvos with 25-30 men, women, and children.

Thousands upon thousands of life jackets that represent the refugees who have made the risky journey across the Aegean Sea.  

This is a typical Afghan breakfast made by one of our friends who was a chef before fleeing his country, freshly made bread, eggs, and fried vegetables. 
Pallets of blankets stacked floor-to-ceiling show the number of distributions we make with 1,200 refugees arriving on average each month this year.  

On the right in this picture, you can see the mountains that lie on Turkey's coast as seen from the northern beaches of Lesvos, Greece...Turkey is only 4 miles at its closest distance.  

This is a Syrian BBQ on the charcoal grill cooked by some of our friends.  Some of our favorite food!

Remnants of a refugee boat landing on the beach.  Life jackets and inner tubes of all sizes for the men, women, and children who made it safely on the daring boat ride. 

This is an Afghan wedding meal in honor of a refugee who was missing his sister's wedding back home, so we decided to cook the traditional food they would eat at the celebration!

Donations

  • Anonymous 
    • $300 
    • 12 mos
  • Minha Ha 
    • $200 
    • 16 mos
  • Kayla Adams 
    • $100 
    • 25 mos
  • Dick/Mim Mylin 
    • $100 
    • 25 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $60 
    • 25 mos
See all

Organizer

Danny L Garnett 
Organizer
Plainfield, IL
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