Israeli born Hollywood actress Natalie Portman is using her fame to help bring awareness to the Syrian humanitarian crisis. Portman has joined forces with Operation Human Warmth to donate money and clothing to a cause which the actress stated “deeply moved” her.
Operation Human Warmth was established in January by several Israeli organizations that seek to collect winter clothing and supplies for displaced Syrian refugees. Many Syrian’s who have been forcefully displaced due to the civil war lack basic necessities to survive the frigid winter. The aid initiative is the brainchild of the Israeli youth group Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed, the social educational organization Dror-Israel, and the international Israeli humanitarian organization Israeli Flying Aid.
Portman, who is currently in Israel working on her directorial debut ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness,’, first heard about Operation Human Warmth from Israeli friends.
“When I heard about Operation Human Warmth I felt deeply moved and compelled to get involved,” Portman said in a statement. “In the middle of a brutal winter, these [Syrian] children have no shelter and their lives are in serious jeopardy from the cold. I am proud to take part in an operation where Israeli youth of all backgrounds are taking action to help out those whom need it most.”
According to a press release from Dror-Israel, “Portman donated part of her personal winter wardrobe and sent a contribution through the operation’s fundraising website.”
Since the launch of the initiative, over 20,000 items and equipment have been collected to send to Syrian refugees. All the materials collected weigh in at a whopping 30 tons. Dror-Israel international collaborations director Gilad Perry said, “When we see the situation in Syria right now, we feel compelled to act. We feel that this operation is an expression of the Israeli public’s willingness to help those who need it most.”