November 8, 2020
Right inside Main Gate, beside the kiosk where the security guard sits, is a white box with a red Al Jar lil Jar logo. AUB faculty and staff as well as alumni, neighbors, and friends have been quietly slipping envelopes into the box since April with donations for families in need in Ras Beirut. Donations have grown, so that LL100,000 is now being distributed to over 200 households each month.
The Al Jar lil Jar (“neighbor for neighbor”) Campaign is part of the AUB Neighborhood Initiative’s effort to truly care for its neighbors. Recipients are mostly elderly with no family support needing medications, or young families who have lost their jobs during Lebanon’s economic collapse. Donations are delivered right to the benificiaries with the help of four Ras Beirut mukhtars, Saint Mary’s Orthodox Church, local representatives, and the small AUB-NI team.
As of October 2020, Al Jar lil Jar has raised and distributed over LL100 million in seven months. Mona El Hallak, director of the Neighborhood Initiative, stresses that “no amount is too little” and remarks on “all the beautiful words of gratitude that we hear every month from our beautiful neighbors who deserve to be supported by those who can amongst us.”
As Hallak says, “We are a community that deserves to live and deserves to live abundantly.”