Braving the Winters in Turkey: One Way to Help Syrian Refugees

Every day we wake up to news about the worsening Syrian refugee crisis and are left wondering what we can do to help.  Based on reports, approximately four million Syrians have fled their county, and six million are internally displaced.

Looking at the numbers we may think that our individual efforts may not make a difference, but collectively there is a lot we can do to help.

One way to help is by supporting the third annual blanket and coat drive organized by Help Syrian Refugees, which takes place from November 7—December 5, 2015.  Officials in Northern Virginia organized the first blanket drive back in 2011 after they saw the plight of Syrian refugees firsthand in the Adana refugee camp in Turkey.

Syrian Blanket and Coat Drive

In the first year, they were able to collect more than 18,000 blankets through generous donations from local residents and businesses in Fairfax and Loudoun County, Virginia.

Providing blankets and coats might not seem much to those who have lost so much, but it makes a huge difference to refugees who spend their nights in plastic tents in cold, brutal winter weather.

Each year, winter temperatures drop below 0 degrees in Turkey where many families lack basic winter clothing. During his interview with The Huffington Post, a Syrian refugee living in a camp in Turkey stated, “Right now I am standing in the camp and I’m wearing three sweaters and a jacket, and still I feel like I am about to die from the cold.”

With winter approaching and more than two million refugees living in refugee camps across Turkey, there is a need for increased donations this year.

In an effort to get more people involved and to get more supplies, additional drop-off locations have been added to the Blanket and Coat Drive. Now, it is not only limited to Virginia residents but for those in Maryland, District of Columbia, North Carolina, Delaware, and Kentucky.

You can find out about the drop-off locations near you by visiting


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