On the 4th of August 2020, one of the biggest non-nuclear blasts in history hit Lebanon’s capital city Beirut, inflicting widespread devastation and causing immense suffering. Over 200 people were killed by the blast, more than 6500 were injured, and 3000 were left without shelter.
Miami based philanthropist and businessman of Lebanese origins, Thomas G. Abraham, reached out to friends and alliances around the world so that they join hands in offering aid and relief to the people of Lebanon through the Help Us Rise initiative.
“I’m here to ask you to help them rise, to embrace Beirut and its citizens, by helping them open the doors of opportunity, so they can get back to living their lives normally,” said Founder and Chairman of the initiative Thomas G. Abraham.
The initiative focused on supporting local and international NGOs in helping the people of Beirut recover and rebuild their homes, livelihoods, and lives.
Over $237,000 were raised for NGOs including the Rene Moawad Foundation, The Beirut Marathon Association, The Lebanese Red Cross, American Task Force for Lebanon, SEAL, Teach for Lebanon, Lebanese American University, AlYounbough, Peace for Lebanon, Al Fadi Center – Chabrouh, Roads for Life, Teach a Child, Orphanage of Saint Charbel, Creche St. Vincent, Societe St. Vincent de Paul – Conference St. Rock, Anta Akhi, Paradis d’Enfants, St. Aphrem Church, Missionary Sisters of the Very Holy Sacrament, Oum El Nour, Sesobel – Service Social pour le Bienetre de l’Enfant au Liban, Antonine Social Orientation School – Mroui, Lebanon, Irap the Institute for the Education of the Deaf, Cenacle de la Lumiere (“CDLL”), and Franciscian Sisters of the Holy Cross.
During its first year, the initiative was supported and managed by the Anthony R. Abraham Foundation, chaired by Thomas G. Abraham. A year after the blast, he founded The Beirut Foundation to respond to the increasing crises Lebanon is facing. Today, the Help Us Rise initiative is managed by The Beirut Foundation as one of its main projects.