It’s that time of year again and the bars and pubs of Mar Mikhael, Gemmayze and Hamra are overflowing with Lebanese home for the holidays. But if you can spare a few hours or a few bucks, why not help those most in need while you are here?

We all know the government is bankrupt (in more ways than one) and largely overburdened by the massive refugee influx with very little help coming in from Arab or Western countries. The good news is there are some great Lebanese citizen-powered grassroots efforts to help homeless Syrians. And here’s some ways you can help out.

1.) The “I am not a tourist” initiative mobilized some 25 truckloads of clothing in just one day last weekend.

Check the group page for upcoming events, as well as that of their partners G Living Green, War Child   and SAWA for Syria.

2.) Sawa for Syria also organized a great benefit concert last night, with proceeds going toward buying firewood and heaters. They are currently supporting around 10 camps in the Bekaa Valley and always looking for volunteers and donations.

One act last night was the Lebanese rapper and spoken word artist Ras (left) who joined on stage by Syrian rapper Sayed Darwish (right)

This wasn’t the poser imitation Hollywood stuff. The lyrics and poetry were witty and raw, an inspiring Lebanese-Syrian collaboration despite all the cross-border tension and discrimination. The two promised more benefit concerts coming up.

3.) Finally, I just discovered this wonderful initiative “Rain Boots for Syrian children” which has collected 4,000 snow boots in 48 hours. The boots cost just $5 each. Click here for details on how to donate and see more pictures of the distribution here.

Barefoot children get new boots. Image/Facebook

Still not feeling inspired? Watch this video by the organizers of last week’s clothing drive and see how one person sitting at home can make a huge difference. In this case, she was sitting in her car:

Finally for those living abroad, you may consider supporting some of the bigger international organizations on the ground as well. has complied this list of 7 places you can donate.

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