In One Second a Day, This Girl’s Life Went From Happy Birthday to Refugee. It’s Shocking, but It’s Needed.

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You can’t remember the last time you slept in your own bed, and “home” is now less of a place than it is an idea, a far off and yet half-remembered promise of comfort, security, warmth in the winter and cool in the summer, a door that could lock out the world or be flung wide open to welcome family, friends and coworkers to dinners or parties or casual get-togethers. You’ve lost ten pounds in the last year, but the wear on your face reflects more of a lifetime than 365 days ever should or could contain. The idea of school or work or just a walk around the block all now seem a distant memory, and it is to the crying of children and with dirt-encrusted eyelids that you drift off to sleep, hoping tomorrow might be the day you get a full meal and clean water. You just want to go home, wherever that is now. The video below captures this heartwrenching fantasy for the sake of the children of Syria.

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The worst part is that this isn’t happening in your imagination. It’s happening right now, halfway around the world, to the Syrian people. Displaced by civil war, caught between a violent military dictatorship still clinging to power even as various militant rebel factions vie for influence among each other and the nation, over one million children now live in refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and elsewhere. Some haven’t seen parents in months. Some will never see parents again. It could be happening here, but we have been so blessed to live in a country and economy where it seems more a far-fetched nightmare. The people of Syria and the entire Middle East community desperately need your help.

Ready to do something? UNICEF has generated a petition to world leaders to stand up for the children of Syria. Click here to join your voice with over one million others for the children affected by this conflict. Spread the word with the hashtag #childrenofsyria.

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Michael Harrell is a former staff member and current volunteer at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Federal Way, Washington. A blogger by hobby and social media manager by trade, he continues to teach the faith to ninth graders when he's not busy watching movies or theatre. He loves the Seattle Mariners, and his wife wants you to know he's married. You can follow him on Twitter.