From November 13 to December 5, Rumi Forum partnered with several other organizations in order to gather blankets and coats for Syrian refugee children.
The coat and blanket drive culminated in a gala dinner that was held after the drive on December 8 at the Tysons Corner Marriott located in Tyson, Virginia. At this dinner, additional donations of money, blankets and coats were collected as key organizers and those representing the organizations that participated in the drive gave speeches.
The speakers who attended were Vaner Kaplan, Executive Director of the American Turkish Friendship Association, Chairman of Fairfax Virginia’s Board of Supervisors Sharon Bulova, Mark Gibbs the Northern Virginia Commission’s Executive Director, Scott York Loudoun County Virginia’s County Chairman, Osman Dulgeroglu Chairman of Embrace Relief, Emre Celik the President of Rumi Forum and Dr. Simon Henshaw the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.
The gala celebrated the fact that over 25,000 blankets and coats had been donated as a result of the drive. This is the largest amount that the campaign has recorded since the yearly coat and blanket drives began three years ago in 2012. The drive also collected money to help feed and support the Syrian refugees. The total amount that was recorded as being collected was $100,000.00. This money will be used to help provide hot meals to 4,000 families in the Kilis refugee camp located in Turkey. The rest of the money will be used to help package and deliver food packages to Syrian refugees in other refugee camps.