None of us feel good about what is happening right now in Aleppo—when seven-year-old children are tweeting that it might be their last day on Earth and firsthand reports are claiming that women are committing suicide to avoid being raped—it would be inhumane not to feel desperate and heartbroken about the situation.
My name is Bana, I’m 7 years old. I am talking to the world now live from East #Aleppo. This is my last moment to either live or die. – Bana
— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) December 13, 2016
It’s also difficult not to feel helpless. How can we as individuals, so far removed from this complicated situation, make a difference? Fortunately, there are ways in which you can chip in, and none of them are futile no matter how small the impact may feel. First of all, you can donate to relief efforts—here is a vetted list of non-profits at work on the ground in Syria. You can also donate to The White Helmets, a local search and rescue operation group which has thus far saved tens of thousands of lives, to the International Rescue Committee, which supports refugees globally, and to Doctors Without Borders, which continues to operate in Aleppo despite the bombing of its hospitals. Finally, you can write to your senator and congressperson asking them to support the expansion of the U.S. Refugee Admissions program, particularly as those fleeing situations like Syria may have a tougher time seeking asylum in the states under a Trump presidency.