RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — College students in Richmond are working to bring relief to war-torn Syria, gathering supplies that could save lives.
The United Nations is calling the last few days in the city of Aleppo a “complete meltdown of humanity.” The Syrian government’s push to retake the city from rebel forces has caused dozens of civilian casualties.
VCU student Bilal Quraishi has logged countless hours inside a southside Richmond warehouse, sorting supplies headed Aleppo.
“Even the most basic things are going to help the situation there,” Quraishi told 8News.
This Friday, volunteers will load up everything collected at the Warehouse and ship it to Syria.
“We’re shipping everything in a 40-foot container,” Quraishi said. “That container will travel to Syrian border by boat, and then everything gets distributed there at the border.”
Quraishi’s non-profit, United2Heal, is working with churches, mosques and synagogues to gather donated clothes.
“We have a lot of clothes to sort, and we have a lot more supplies coming in as well,” said Sarah Owais, a sophomore at VCU.
The group is also taking in unused medical supplies donated by Richmond area hospitals.
“Syringes, masks, gloves, catheters; the list goes on,” Quraishi said.
All hospitals in Aleppo’s rebel-held east were taken out by bombs in November. As groups of women and the disabled evacuate the city, survivors are left with nearly nothing.
“It makes me feel like I’m making a difference in someone else’s life,” Owais said.
With Syrian forces closing in on the last rebel stronghold, United2Heal volunteers students said they were prepared to help in any way they can.
If you have time this week to sort donations or help load the shipment on Friday, the nonprofit is calling on volunteers to meet at the warehouse on Wednesday and Thursday from 6-8 p.m.
The warehouse is located at 2601 Maury Street with access from Decatur Street. The building is marked number 31. For more information on the project, email coordinators here.