Soccer Balls to Syria


soccer-ball-michelle.jpgHow do you fit 25 soccer balls into two suitcases? That was a recent challenge for Mount Mary students, who had to deflate soccer balls in order to get them ready to send to Syrian refugee camps.

Syrian-American pediatric neurologist Dr. Tarif Bakdash is bringing the balls along with him to a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan on his medical mission trip March 18.

Bakdash, who works at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, wrote a book that describes his experiences serving people in the most desperate of circumstances in Syrian refugee camps. "Inside Syria: A Physician's Memoir." His efforts in the area are ongoing; he holds weekly Skype calls with a clinic in Syria and regularly travels to Jordan to work at refugee camps there.

Bakdash visited campus in Feburary; he urged students to take action, no matter how small. Students were motivated to form this soccer ball drive as a response to the profound need Bakdash described, said Jennifer Laske, a member of the Theology Department faculty.

Media spots (video and stories)

  • Fox 6 Milwaukee. VIDEO: Soccer balls being sent from Milwaukee to Syrian refugees. (Mar 3)
  • CBS 58. VIDEO: Mount Mary University students deflate soccer balls to ship to refugee children. (Mar 3)