Windsor-Essex Helping Lebanon organizers overwhelmed by community support
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Organizers of the ad hoc group, Windsor-Essex Helping Lebanon say they are overwhelmed by the community’s generosity.
“I want to congratulate all of you for helping us raise just over $60,000,” said Nour Hachem-Fawaz, co-organizer of the group.
Dozens of businesses participated in the one-day fundraiser, all trying to raise funds for those affected by the deadly explosion in Beirut on Aug. 4.
“To bring the community together, to not only raise money for the victims of Beirut, but show the Middle Eastern flavour in the Windsor-Essex community.”
Hachem-Fawaz says funds raised will be matched by the Canadian government through the Humanitarion Coalition, bringing the total to over $121,000.
“In a time where we are faced with COVID, so much uncertainty, global crisis, high unemployment - what we need is for each other to come together regardless of our differences to show love and kindness. Giving when we're able to...even if it’s a little it goes a long way."
Restaurants and businesses jumped at the chance to give back and so did the community.
Owner of Souq restaurant, Ghasan Bassiso, tells CTV News, “The restaurant was packed, the phone was ringing non-stop, we had lineups outside the store. All of that just to support his victims in Beirut.”
Hachem-Fawaz hopes the Windsor-Essex community efforts will be a start of a new future for Beirut.
“As people and families are mourning the loss of their loved ones, the loss of their homes, the loss of their businesses - some don’t have access to food, access to health care, don’t have access to shelter. I hope that’s what we bring back to them.”
She added, "I hope we bring them hope. That we are going to rebuild Beirut. We’ve always rebuilt it. It took us 30 years to rebuild it, we’re going to rebuild it again."