In a cellphone video smuggled out of Syria, three children lie unconscious in an underground hospital with various masks, tubes, and pumps attached to their limp bodies. Meanwhile, doctors work to treat them from a suspected chemical attack on Saturday, April 7, 2018.
"This is not a matter of politics…This is a matter of human dignity," Rabbi Sarah Bassin of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills said of the years-long Syrian conflict.
Regardless of race and religion, dozens of SoCal volunteers collected 5,000 pounds worth of goods from churches and temples across the LA area to send to those affected by the violent civil war.
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"It just turned into this swarm of people with a single purpose. You don’t talk about being Jewish or religious or moral or ethical," said volunteer Phil Siegel. "You do something… That’s what this is about."
Moved by the atrocities of the recent attacks, Angelenos volunteered to help a charity called Save the Syrian Children started by Sherman Oaks couple Tamar and Phil Koosed. The organization collects medical supplies in 40-foot containers to send to secret locations in Syria using a renegade underground network.
With an encrypted phone messaging system, Save the Syrian Children communicated with a doctor in Syria who helped treat dozens of victims taken to his underground hospital. According to the doctor "about 4,000 people came from east Ghouta."
While large aid organizations have been rendered ineffective in Syria, the organization is able to send life-saving supplies "straight into the heart of the conflict where they are needed most."
With children of their own, the Koosed's are committed now more than ever to help these children in what has become a humanitarian aid crisis.
"As a mother, you know a 4-year-old or 9-month-old didn't deserve that," Tamar Koosed said. "They were just born in the wrong place at the wrong time,"
Although Phil Koosed refers to their operation as "small and nimble," the organization will be sending two tons of donated goods to Syria in a week.
If you would like to get involved, go to Save the Syrian Children’s website.