Lesvos Refugee Relief

$3,775 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 66 people in 41 months
My name is Chris Grabill. I’m a 33 year old building contractor, lifeguard, musician, and father, from Santa Rosa, California.
About a week ago, I made the decision to book my ticket to Lesvos, Greece - with Kevin Andrew Jorgeson and Jacqui Becker- to volunteer in refugee relief and recovery efforts on the island. I just can't sit and look at photos and articles on a screen anymore, and know that kids June's age are making this voyage in the Mediterranean.. Tens of thousands of young kids - And not all of them are making it. Far from it. It's completely unacceptable to me, and none of us would stand for it if it were happening here.
Look around at your closest family and friends - and then imagine you grew up in Damascus or Aleppo, and you've lost nearly all of them in only two or three years time - Then, after all that, you can't make it 8 miles across the Mediterranean to safety?! because of greedy smugglers, a lack of humanitarian aid forces, and shortsighted immigration policy? These folks are drowning and freezing to death by the hundreds each month. we must do something immediately.

This seems completely preventable to me.. It's painful, and confusing, and overwhelming. But we’re talking about warmth and Safe Passage here, not ending the civil war or stopping climate change.. It’s just a matter of getting simple resources, volunteers, and raising active global awareness. I can't help but think that this is only allowed to happen because of our perceived distance - the notion that 'this always happens over there'. And we have to correct and combat the blast of anti-immigrant rhetoric here and in Europe. This is bigger than the post WW2 refugee crisis - bigger than any forced migration in the last 60-100 years. kids/people are fleeing Assad, rebel factions, and airstrikes.. and the biggest issue in the press still seems to be 'our' security?

Have we eliminated all 'threats' to our security from any/all American citizens? From climate change? From contaminated drinking water? From our broken mental health system? No, not even close, yet we deny safe haven to these children and their families, on the premise that we cannot be certain that they are not a threat? These are toddlers that are drowning. Young Mothers. The elderly. Teenagers. No. I won't accept that this is an 'impossible' or 'hopeless' situation that is too immense to face.

When I'm laughing uncontrollably with my 2 year daughter June, and we're exploring waterfalls, and drawing owls, and talking about time and space.. and then I think about what these refugees and their kids are going through.. Well I don't really have a choice. I've gotta do everything I can to raise awareness, serious funds, and whatever small contribution my body/skillset can offer - in Refugee camps, as a tradesman, an open water lifeguard, as an experienced ocean spotter on boats, and in print and social media -with the hope that this will begin to change, and that folks over there will see at least a few examples (of the many) Americans that don't put up with the xenophobia that we see in the press - and will take the time and effort to show that we care about what is happening around the world. There has to be a break - a massive rupture in the routine observance of preventable tragedy. It's not enough to be cynical and slightly-informed. We need to be hopeful, well-informed, and compelled to act:
For Warmth and Safe Passage
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$3,775 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 66 people in 41 months
Created February 13, 2016
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SM
$300
Scott Morris
39 months ago
MD
$50
Merria Dearman
40 months ago
$50
Walter Blair Tom
40 months ago
EG
$50
Enedina Gonzalez
40 months ago
ZT
$25
Zoe Taylor
40 months ago
ST
$50
Stephanie Truesdell
40 months ago

Thank you!

AL
$25
Andrea Libresco
40 months ago

Thanks for your good work, Chris. (Your aunt Mary is my college chum - and I met you when you were 2 weeks old!)

MB
$25
Mary Battenfeld
40 months ago
CW
$25
Callie Watts
40 months ago

Thank you for fighting the good fight, for all of us. Much Love.

AB
$50
Alaina Rose Bremer
40 months ago
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