Over $139,000 has been raised in under 48 hours after a picture of a man seemingly trying to sell pens on a street in Beirut, Lebanon with his daughter slumped over one shoulder went viral.
The photo was originally posted by Gissur Simonarson on Twitter.
“I was overwhelmed with requests to help this man, so I decided to see if I could locate them,” Simonarson wrote on Indiegogo.
“Within 30 min of starting my search, I was pointed to a twitter user @CaptainMaj, who told me that he saw this man every day around his house. Next I got contacted by Jessy El Murr (@JessyTrendSKY) from Sky News Arabia who got me in touch with Carol Malouf (@carolmalouf) who runs an aid organization for Refugees in Lebanon. Long story short, we were able to find him and now have a secure way to get this man the money we raise here.”
The man has been identified as Abdul, a single father with two children. They are Palestinian Syrians from the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus.
Within only 30 minutes, Simonarson’s goal to raise $5,000 for this man and his family was met.
“This was never meant as a cap, just something to start with,” Simonarson wrote. “Let’s make sure that Abdul and Reem can really start a great new life. All extra donations will of course go directly to them as well.”
Simonarson has been in touch with Unicef special protection unit to help get Abdul to a safe location, and make sure he will not be taken advantage of.
“I’m also considering setting up some kind of fund that would give him payouts monthly, so he doesn’t end up with a bag of money, and not know what to do with it,” Simonarson added.
With over $139,000 raised and 13 days to go, this family’s life will be forever changed.