From a Simple Personal Initiative into a Legally Registered Non-Profit to International Foundation
Charity Donation started as a personal initiative in April of 2014, when the Syrian refugee crisis hit its peak in Lebanon, specifically in the Bekaa valley. A young university student felt a patriotic desire to help the newly impoverished Lebanese community that were losing their jobs as a result of the strain on the economy caused by the Syrian refugee crisis.
From an initially simple and personal activity, a dedication grew and the conception of a non-profit followed. In December of 2014, along with a group of the Bekaa’s prominent figures, the official launch of Charity Donation was announced in a ceremony at the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese in Zahle.
Several months later, the capabilities of Charity Donation became evident, as the Foundation started gaining recognition by many media outlets, such as MTV Lebanon as well as local associations, such as Lions Club. These recognitions were followed with invitations to international conferences with the aim of showcasing and highlighting the critical work of Charity Donation in light of the humanitarian challenges facing Lebanon. The first international collaboration was in December of 2016, in Jordan. Charity Donation continued to push forward while spreading its concepts for sustainable development internationally in countries ranging from Egypt, to the U.S., France, Turkey, Pakistan, and Tunisia.
In 2017, the Foundation was legally established in Lebanon under the banner of poverty eradication as its primary focus, and centered on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) “#1: No Poverty.”
In late 2018, a major shift sweeped the Foundation when its Board of Directors convened and collectively concluded that “poverty cannot be eradicated by giving items to the needy, poverty can only be tamed by pushing the underprivileged back into the economic sector.” It was this shift that would lead to the Foundation’s successful launch of its first social enterprise dubbed, “Love Bites.”
In 2019, the social enterprise reached an unexpected success with more than 40 people on board, across 5 different pop-ups at malls all over Lebanon while being recognized on TV as a national success story. International communities rushed to invite the social enterprise to share its success. In September of 2019, Love Bites was showcased at the North American Lebanese Diaspora Energy conference held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lebanon and the Embassy of Lebanon in Washington D.C. The social enterprise continued its first world tour in different states across the United States and then made an appearance at the Arab League’s Arab Sustainability Conference in Cairo, and then onto Europe for the Paris Peace Forum in Paris.
In October of 2019, a revolution in Lebanon erupted exposing many of the country’s deep-rooted macroeconomic issues, thereby pushing nearly all of Lebanon’s enterprises to the brink of collapse. The Foundation continued its work while shifting focus to emergency campaigns, donating items to underprivileged families on a weekly basis, and serving as a lifeline for some of the most challenged and vulnerable families.
In October of 2020, the Foundation announced its legal incorporation as a 501(c)-3 tax-exempt non-profit in the United States of America with its headquarters in Washington D.C.