Survivor Africa winner Ethan Zohn and his new wife travel to Greece with CrowdRise’s 24-Hour Impact Project to bring relief to hundreds of displaced families
FUNDRAISER LINK: https://www.crowdrise.com/86402-seconds-in-greece
YOUTUBE VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9I0j8A6vzg&feature=youtu.be
Press Release – DETROIT, October 18, 2016 / This morning, online charitable crowdfunding platform, CrowdRise launched a 24-Hour flash fundraiser to help improve the lives of 1,200 displaced Syrian refugees. As part of the CrowdRise 24-Hour Impact Project, TV personality, former pro soccer player and two-time cancer survivor Ethan Zohn and his new wife Lisa Heywood Zohn are spending their honeymoon volunteering in Greece to bring attention to the refugee crisis.
This past June, 1,200 Syrian refugees near Thessaloniki, Greece were moved between refugee camps to Vasilika Refugee Camp: an old, abandoned warehouse converted into barracks with tents. Having escaped the turbulence of conflict in their home country they are now faced with the reality of living conditions that barely meet minimum standards of health and sanitation, while they wait for what comes next. Of the 1,200 refugees, 600 are children, who have been out of school for months, some for years. The camp at Vasilika provides them no opportunity for learning, playing or socializing.
Next to Vasilika, a group of European volunteers recognized the needs of this community, and have created a safe haven called EKO Project which provides a school, communal kitchen, and welcoming place for children to play. This project is a place of hope to refugee children and their parents who are trying to rebuild their lives. Today, Ethan and Lisa, in partnership with CrowdRise are attempting to crowdfund $20,000 in just 24 hours to help.
In a moving call to action video posted to the couple’s CrowdRise page, Ethan and Lisa speak to many of the children living in the refugee camp. One young girl tells Lisa why her family had to leave Syria: “there was a bomb…it broke my house.” Another young boy proclaims, “Syria not good. Syria very bad.” Ethan candidly explains, “they were forced out of their homes and out of their country with nothing, and they come here and they’re just waiting.” Yet when that same little boy is asked if he wants to go back to Syria he says, “I do not. I don’t like.”
Two sisters in particular, Helena and Elena, stood out to Ethan and Lisa. The newlyweds write on their CrowdRise page: “These young girls had endured so much, fleeing Syria with their family, crossing by foot into Turkey, and then by boat into Greece. They’ve been trapped at borders, slept outside in the rain, spent their life savings, and still have no security for their future.”
The $20,000 raised will help EKO Project with school supplies, winter clothing, fresh food, building materials, setting up a library, relocation support, and fulfilling a “wish list” of basic needs.
CrowdRise, which organizes the 24-Hour Impact Project, will serve as the hub for all fundraising activity, and video updates at crowdrise.com/86402-seconds-in-greece. As with all of CrowdRise’s 24-Hour Impact Projects, the entire process will be filmed, and once the money has been raised, CrowdRise will share an impact video that captures the progress and implementation of the funds, so that donors can see their immediate impact.
For Ethan, it was immediately clear how important bringing play back into these children’s lives would be. After winning the CBS reality show, Survivor Africa, Ethan used his prize money to co-found the organization Grassroot Soccer (GRS) that uses the power of soccer and the energy of youth to educate, inspire and mobilize communities to improve health. As part of the impact, Ethan and Lisa will also be hosting a massive soccer game made possible by generous donations from 4POINT4 and One World Play Project.
To donate to Ethan and Lisa’s fundraiser, visit: https://www.crowdrise.com/86402-seconds-in-greece