So I’m Moving to Sweden, Part 2: Doing #MyPart4Syria

10 Second Summary

  • I am excited about my new job and new life in Sweden
  • It’s sad people live in war-torn places like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and notSweden 
  • Decided to raise $500 for a charity that rescues refugees who flee the war 
  • Dare me to do something / Venmo me $$$, and I’ll do it!
  • Will document donations + dares on Instagram/Facebook using #MyPart4Syria
  • Want to raise $500 by September 12th

The Long Version…

One of the things I have been doing, in preparation for moving to Sweden, is selling all of my furniture and belongings. While waiting for people to buy my stuff, I read about the story of Omran; I had seen the image, read the accompanying article, and then pushed thoughts of it aside because I got a notification on Instagram. Later, when another article about it was pushed to the top of my Facebook feed, I watched the video, and again pushed thoughts of it aside, because someone was texting me about buying some of my furniture.

And then it hit me. I’m leaving to go to Sweden.

Gothenburg, the new home that awaits me!

In Sweden, I will have great healthcare and a fantastic paid-leave package (six weeks!) and unlimited sick leave and high quality seafood whenever I want. Where I can go running and go to yoga and have the same kind of lifestyle I’ve enjoyed here in DC, maybe even better, without ever, ever, ever worrying my house will explode.

Aleppo, Syria. Home to 2.3 million people.

Suddenly, trying to pocket a couple hundred during this transition seems really, well…selfish.

The reality is, I do need to save and be frugal. But I can also try to take a few minutes to do something good. And I have a lot of wonderful friends that I think would pitch in, just a little bit. Let’s aim for something very realistic.

Can I raise $500 to send to Emergency Response Center International (ERCI)?

ERCI is a Greek-based charity that helps pull Syrian refugees out of the ocean and into safe camps and schools. They are International Maritime Rescue accredited, so you know they’re legit. Here is more detail on exactly what they do and who they do it for.

Back when Split was based out of the incubator space 1776, I became acquainted with a volunteer rescue swimmer at ERCI. Yep, he’s right there in the boats, with the whole “Baywatch” thing going on. His name is Pooya Rezai.

This is Pooya!


ERCI makes treacherous waters safe, helping frightened refugees risking the treacherous journey across the sea to Greece. With ERCI, fewer and fewer cases like Alan Kurdi‘s happen. They’re that first line of defense and the first hands of welcome.

With $500, ERCI can buy necessary gear that increases their impact and makes their job safer. Rescue tubes, rash guards for the swimmers, flotation devices, binoculars, and a special shipment that’s trapped in California: pre-filled backpacks with snacks, gloves and other basic living supplies for refugee families.  With this money, ERCI could get all the backpacks to Greece. Or get 40 Rescue Tubes. Or 10 pairs of waterproof binoculars.

I know there are many causes and so much noise in the world. There are birthday presents to get, things to ship to new addresses, coffees to sip while we scroll through Facebook. We are all human.

So let’s trade. I will put in a little of my time and my stuff to raise the $500 from you, my amazing friends and family. Here’s how you can help!

  • Everything I sell from today onward goes towards my $500 goal. My friend Patricia already sent $35 just because I asked her to share this blog post. BOOM! Already $35 to the goal!
  • You can buy my actions and time with dares. Want me to run around the US Capitol 3 times wearing a pink shirt with David Hasselhoff’s face on it, and selfie-ing a sign that says “Cats are better than dogs!”, I’ll do it! ($20. But, just so we are clear, cats are not better than dogs.)
  • Want to see how many Oreos I can stuff into my mouth at once? $10…and I’ll buy the Oreos with my own money! I really hope someone wants to see that. That’s by far the most delicious dare I’ll get.
  • Want me to hand-write you a thank you card? $5. I’LL EVEN MAKE IT A POEM.

And so on, and so on. You get the idea.


Message me on Facebook, text me, or Venmo me your donation and tell me what you’d like me to do! Suggest something meaningful to you and give me some money for this cause. (Yes, there are limits people. Don’t be gross.) I’ll post the results of what I’m whoring you’re daring me to do on my Instagram and to Facebook with the hashtag#MyPart4Syria and tag you in it, so you’ll see what your money got you.

The deadline for this will be September 12th. That week I’ll meet with Pooya to hand over the money to ERCI! Alright…let’s get this going!

Day 1: $35

(thanks Patricia!)

Time Left to Goal:  20 Days

$ Left to Goal: $465


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