Normally, 17-year-old Jaden Lawen spends his summers in Lebanon with his family, but this year he had to stay home in Canada because of the coronavirus. He was understandably disappointed over missing his trip, but when there was a major explosion in Beirut, he wished he could be there all the more.
After learning of the explosion, Jaden immediately checked in with his family and friends, all of whom thankfully survived. As grateful as he was for everyone’s safety, he was heartbroken over the devastation he saw in the pictures his friends shared with him. He knew he had to do something, so he partnered up with the Canadian Red Cross to start a fundraiser for the people of Beirut.
He started a campaign to raise $20,000 to help so many who were affected by the explosion. On his fundraiser’s site, Jaden said, “My wish was to be on the ground helping with my bare hands in whatever capacity I could, however, this was not possible due to the global pandemic.”
He started spreading the word about his fundraiser and it quickly gained traction. Much to his surprise, he met his $20,000 goal in only 48 hours!
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Jaden was blown away by people’s generosity. He told CBC, “Just the support from Halifax is unbelievable. The amount of people that have been reaching out to me, saying ‘Anything you want me to do, I can help with,’ it’s just been amazing.”
After the quick success of the fundraiser, Jaden decided to double the goal to $40,000, hoping to make even more of an impact for his friends and family. He has a good chance at reaching the goal, too. He told CBC, “This is exactly what Lebanon needs.”
You can learn more about and donate to Jaden’s fundraiser, Halifax to Beirut here. Share this story with your friends, too, to help spread the word.
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