- Title: Lebanese donate coats as part of winter campaign
- Date: 6th December 2016
- Summary: MORE OF BAGS FULL OF DONATED CLOTHES
- Embargoed: 21st December 2016 12:32
- Keywords: Lebanon winter coats charity campaign Dafa Beirut
- Location: BEIRUT AND TRIPOLI, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT AND TRIPOLI, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Reuters ID: LVA0045BQTY6T
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Staying warm this winter -- that's the message behind a number of charity campaigns underway in Lebanon.
Hundreds of people have been donating coats, blankets and other warm clothes to be bagged up and distributed to those in need.
The campaign in Beirut is organised by Dafa, meaning 'warmth' in Arabic.
In comparison to last year the number of people donating garments has more than doubled.
"We had 100 volunteers last year while we have 300 this year. People are helping more and more, I think we were able to build some trust because we don't take money donations, we only take in-kind donations; and people are feeling that their help is reaching out,'' said one of the organisers, Paula Yacoubian.
With the number of donations so far Dafa aims to help 50,000 families in the Mediterranean state, according to Yacoubian.
Lebanon is home to a large community of Syrian refugees, uprooted from their homes, fleeing with next to nothing.
For the thousands of displaced, surviving winter and the cold climate adds to their struggle.
As well as collecting clothes, volunteers also register people in need of the donations.
"I saw people gathering here so I came and I hope it will bring good, we did not take anything, we just registered and I don't know when they will distribute them,'' said Syrian man Hamed Hassan Al-Haraf.
In the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli another winter campaign organised by Lebanese NGO Sawa, meaning 'together' in Arabic, is underway.
On Sunday (December 4) volunteers collected donations that will be given to Syrian and Lebanese families in Bekaa and Tripoli.
''What we are doing is that we are collecting winter clothes from families, people, our friends and connections - we are spreading the word everywhere we work - so we collect the donations, sort them out by age then distribute them to these poor families,'' explained volunteer Abdallah Hussein.
Sawa was set up in 2011 in response to the refugee crisis in Lebanon as a result of the raging war in neighbouring Syria.
With more than a million refugees living in Lebanon, campaigns like these offer some respite to their daily hardships.
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