Changing the World?


This is not a new story, I heard it for the first time 20 or more years ago however I believe it’s worth repeating.

A tourist was looking out the window of his 10th floor luxury hotel room and noticed a young boy throwing something in the water.  Out of curiosity he decided to go down to the beach to investigate. As he grew closer he could see the boy was occasionally bending down to pick up something and would throw it into the ocean.  As the boy came closer the tourist called out, “Good morning!  May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The tourist replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

With that the boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

I received this Facebook letter from a young lady the other day. It read:

“Friends and family (warning: this is long but worth it), As some of you may be aware, 2016-12-05_10-11-02myself and four amazing ladies that I have had the honor of working with have signed on as sponsors for Noor Ogli, an incredibly smart and ambitious young woman who we are trying to bring to Canada along with her family. I was very fortunate to meet Noor in person while I was in Turkey this past summer, and was amazed by her ambition, humor and hope despite the hardships she’s endured.

In her final year of law school in Damascus, Syria, Noor was at her university when missiles struck. The atrocities she witnessed that day caused her to sustain severe post-traumatic stress. Since then, her nervous system has been degenerating progressively for reasons yet to be diagnosed. Sadly, she is now wheelchair bound. After three failed attempts, Noor and her family finally made it to Turkey where they are now living as refugees. The medical attention that Noor desperately needs is a luxury in Turkey that she cannot access, and the outlook for her is very dire if she remains there.

After interacting with this incredible young woman, I have no doubt that she would excel in a country like Canada that could provide accessibility for her needs. She would like to go back to school, get her Law degree, and maybe even try her hand at a judgeship someday. She would be an invaluable member of the community and nothing would make me happier than to see that happen.

Currently, there is a team on the ground in Turkey working to get immigration paperwork filed for Noor and her family. Here in Canada, we are doing the same as well as working diligently to secure the funds required to support her family for their first year in Canada, a trust that must be established in full before her paperwork will be processed.

We have set up a donation page here with photos and Noor’s full story:

If you would like a special gift for someone you care about, we will happily send a holiday card for every donation over 20$. The card includes Noor’s photo and story as well as an explanation of how the gift will help bring Noor and her family to Canada.

Simply click “Contact Organizer” at the bottom of the page once you have donated and indicate the name of the individual you would like the card dedicated to and the address where you would like it sent (postage is on us:)

I hope you will also have the pleasure of meeting Noor someday. Thank you so much for your kind and generous support.”

As it turned out the young lady who wrote the letter is my daughter. As parents our wish is that we pass on sound ethics and values to our kids. Sometimes through their words and actions they in turn pass on or remind us why we are here.