Here’s how it works
Address one or more Christmas or New Year’s cards to “A friend in Syria.” You can sign the cards however is most comfortable for you: with your full name, first name only, or simply “A friend.” You may write a short holiday greeting if you wish, but it is not necessary. Mel Lehman, Director of Common Humanity, and Tony Khawam of KhawamGallery.com are collaborating to personally carry the cards to Damascus and Aleppo before Christmas. They have already received visas to Syria. Mr. Khawam was born in Aleppo and has close family members there who are priests in the Syrian churches. The priests will meanwhile make arrangements for Christian and Muslim youth at church-run youth centers to have cards ready when Mr. Lehman and Mr. Khawam arrive in late November. The youth will address a card to each American individual who has sent a card. These cards will be brought back to America and mailed to you in time for Christmas!
Here’s How You Can Participate
+While any group or individual can participate, this is an ideal project for church youth groups. You’ll need some planning and follow-through to make this work! Below are suggestions.
+Plan a time or times for people to sign cards. Coffee hour after the church service is an ideal time.
+Remember: publicity will help. If you’re a church group, be sure to include the card signing in the church bulletin and post the attached poster on your church bulletin board and on your church’s website and Facebook page and hand out this information as a flyer.
+If you’re not a church group, that’s fine, too. Maybe you can set up a stand in a park on a Saturday afternoon or in your local school or library.
Signing the cards
+You can simply buy a box of cards for people to sign or, if you’re feeling creative, you can create your own cards! If you’re drawing your own, please make them neat. No “children’s refrigerator door art” cards, please!
+Nothing, repeat, NOTHING political may be written in your card. If your card includes a political message we will unfortunately not be able to deliver it.
+Please send only small and medium-sized cards, 6” x 4” maximum. Remember that we hope to take several thousand cards to Syria, including yours, and that’s a lot of weight to carry!!
+Do not include your email or mailing address on the card. We cannot establish a pen pal exchange at this time.
+Sign your name and print it as well. Please print any short message you wish to include rather than using handwriting.
Mailing the Cards
+If you like, you may include a photo of yourself or your group.
+If you include a photo, place the photo and the card in an envelope. If you don’t include your photo, keep the envelope (this will save weight for us). Also include in it a self-addressed, stamped manila envelope the same size as the one you use to send us your cards.
+In order for us to take the cards to Syria and return in time to mail a card back to you, we will need to receive your cards by November 15, 2018.
+In order to help cover the costs of this Exchange, we request a contribution of $2.00 per card. In addition, we welcome a contribution of any amount to Common Humanity. (Common Humanity is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization so any additional voluntary contribution from individuals is tax-deductible.)
+Learn more about the people of Syria by taking a few minutes to see the two short videos of Mel Lehman's previous visit to Syria and read the article he wrote. Links to the videos and article on the Home Page.
Please include the following information with the cards:
Name of church or organization or individual: ____________________________________________
Contact person (for groups) Name:_________________________
Email: _____________________ Address:______________________________________
Phone (optional): ____________________
Number of cards sent: ________
Contribution @$2. per card (not tax-deductible) ________
Additional contributions (tax-deductible from individuals) _______
PAY BY PAY PAL HERE
(If you pay by Pal Pal, Don't forget to send your cards to the address below!)
OR SEND A CHECK payable to Common Humanity with your cards to: __
310 Riverside Drive, Suite 511
Attn: Mel Lehman
New York, NY 10025
Please include a note if you are interested in learning about the possibility of Mel Lehman delivering your cards in person and speaking at your church during December before Christmas or early in 2019.
Please indicate on your note if we may list your group as a participating organization on our website.
Thank you for remembering the original message of Christmas and for being a peacemaker with the people of Syria!