My name is Allison Monroe, and I am a member of CRP’s Board of Directors. I would like to take a minute to share my story of how I became involved with CRP and all the important work we do.

Shortly after 9-11, I moved to Jordan to work as a Peace Corps Volunteer until the war in Iraq started. Afterwards, I worked as a photojournalist. Having lived there for many years, I speak Arabic, and my four kids and I have visited Jordan many times together. I love Jordan, it’s my favorite place to be.

This March, I was hiking with Natasha in the Jordan Valley. On the way home she suggested we stop at a friend’s house, as there was someone she wanted me to meet. Her friend, Noor*, is a Syrian refugee, one of the many refugees found in Jordan. It’s not uncommon at all to meet refugees in Jordan, as there are approximately 900,000 today, and that number continues to grow.

Noor was lovely, and full of light, love, and joy. Her giggle was infectious. She had recently come to Jordan with her 3 adult siblings, all of whom are severely disabled, both mentally and physically. They are unable to walk, talk, or feed themselves, and Noor has been their full time caretaker since she was ten. The rest of her family had either died or abandoned them.

When a bomb went off close to their home in Syria, they were all injured. She fled the country on foot, dragging and carrying all her possessions, and hitchhiking across the border to Jordan.

Now, Noor rents a home in a small village. Her siblings can’t be left alone so she is unable to work. They live on $140 a month, $36 after rent is paid.

We drank our tea as she told me her story. I gave her all the cash I had, and I left with a fire inside me. That evening, I decided I would do something to assist the refugee situation in Jordan as much as possible.

A few months later, I was offered the opportunity to be part of the board of directors for Collateral Repair Project, an American non-profit organisation working on the ground in Amman. CRP is a happy place, a community, where families get all their needs met, find meaning in their day-to-day, and are given the tools to rebuild their lives.

This December, it was my 40th birthday and I hosted a fundraiser and birthday party in Mckinney, Texas to introduce my friends, family and colleagues to the work being done at CRP. We received donations from a local brewery in for the space, a great DJ, and had dinner catered from a mom and pop Italian restaurant who supports CRP’s work. 150 people came and we had a wonderful time. I spoke at the event, telling everyone about my involvement and the important work CRP does. I asked for donations and was overwhelmed by the generous response. I also ran a Facebook fundraiser for my birthday and loved ones from all over the world made donations to support our work. I am grateful and excited by the response I received.

If making a real difference in the lives of refugees lights a fire in your belly like it does mine, I am urging you to support CRP’s work by becoming a monthly donor or contributing for as little as $5.

Help CRP’s community and donate today.

*name was changed