contentmentIssue 22

Taking Lemons and Making a Difference in the World

By Michele Laverty

At the young age of eight, Isabelle Alkhas may sell lemonade in her hometown but her sights are set on helping people on the other side of the world.

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After hearing what was happening to her own people in Iraq and Syria—that children her age didn’t have homes, food, or toys to play with— Izabelle wanted to help. She and her 15 friends have raised $15,000 for Assyrian Christians who are refugees, displaced in Iraq and Syria because of the atrocities they are facing from ISIS.

Every day, thousands of Assyrians struggle to survive. Families have been forced to flee from their homes for fear of being tortured, raped or killed.

There is no safe haven for them to turn to and they are forced to live as illegal immigrants throughout the Middle East, often in severe poverty and without basic human rights. Many have fled their homelands and are living in camp sites.

Funds raised will benefit the Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organization (ACERO), a nonprofit that provides all displaced families affected by the unrest in Iraq with food, water, shelter, clothing, etc., said Isabelle’s mother Adrenna Alkhas who is no stranger to public outreach. Alphas works as the Marketing and Communications Director for the Stanislaus County Fair.

Alkhas is most proud of the effort because, “this is about kids giving back to other kids, or Kids helping Kids.”

“Anytime you can instill these traits in your children to help their community and to help others, they will develop leadership skills as adults to not only give back but to spread kindness through hard work,” Alkhas said. “We need to raise a generation of children who are not focused looking down on their iPhones, but to look up! Look up into the world and see what is happening around them and to help make a difference. Raising children to be humble but be confident in themselves is a hard task, so anytime we have the opportunity to showcase humility through leadership, we need to take that chance!”

The group will hold smaller events this Spring with larger events planned in Turlock and surrounding areas in the next month and at the August 27 through 28 Assyrian Festival at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds.

 

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