A boy tries to warm up on a beach with a blanket provided by volunteers. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios/Thinkstock)
Students gather blankets for Syrians
January 08, 2016
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Two Vermont students are working on a big goal. Their mission is to help Syrians who remain in the war-torn country. Syria is in the Middle East.
South Burlington High School students Lena Ginawi and Kiran Waqar are rounding up blankets. They plan to send the blankets to Syria to help the people still there.
Vermont Public Radio reports that Ginawi and Waqar are first-generation immigrants to the U.S. Their parents are from Egypt and Pakistan.
The girls are Muslim. In addition to helping the Syrians, the girls want to combat some of the fear they've seen toward Muslims in general. It has come as a result of attacks by some Islamic extremists, Ginawi said.
"(We're) showing that Muslims aren't actually part of this ISIS group. And that we are actually trying to help," she said. ISIS is an acronym for the Islamic State group.
Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont heard about the girls' efforts. His office contacted businesses for help. A number of ski resorts and businesses have pledged support, he announced.
"Lena and Kiran are showing that the most powerful way to combat hatred and bigotry is with compassion," Shumlin said. He has said Vermont should welcome Syrian refugees who have been thoroughly reviewed before being allowed to settle in the United States.
"Both are truly admirable young people. And we are so lucky to call them Vermonters," he said.
The students are working with NuDay Syria. It's a New Hampshire-based group. The group is focused on humanitarian aid within Syria and in bordering areas.
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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
The climate in Syria is dry and hot, and winters are mild, so why do people there need blankets?
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