The chemical attack in Syria is a war crime. Here's how to help.

Hundreds of Syrians, many of them children, were the victims of an unconscionable chemical attack — carried out by their own government — on April 4, 2017.

The attack was orchestrated under Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to U.S. officials, and has killed at least 70 people and injured hundreds more in the northern rebel-backed Idlib province, CNN reports.

The attack was particularly gruesome. The chemicals released possibly contained a nerve agent and other illegal substances that caused victims to gasp for air, writhe uncontrollably, and foam at the mouth while struggling to survive, rescue workers have reported, according to the New York Times.


A young victim of the chemical attack receives treatment in Maaret al-Noman. Photo by Mohamed Al-Bakour/AFP/Getty Images.

There's no quick fix. There's no redeeming silver lining that makes these deaths any less heartbreaking and senseless. Syrians are living through what most of us — watching the news through glass screens miles and oceans away — simply cannot fathom. The easiest thing to do right now is look away. But we shouldn't. We can do something. Now is the time to help.

Amid the chaos and misery, lives are being saved and families are staying whole, thanks to the courageous people working on the ground in Syria. And they need our help.

Photo by Mohamed Al-Bakour/AFP/Getty Images.

You can donate now to these organizations, all of which were on the ground, helping victims as the horror unfolded:

  • The Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (OUSSM)
    OUSSM provides emergency medical relief and health care services to hundreds of thousands of people affected by violence in and around Syria.

  • The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS)
    SAMS has over 100 medical facilities throughout Syria, providing life-saving treatments and procedures for people in desperate need of care.

  • The White Helmets
    When devastation strikes, the Syria Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets — a group made up of rescue volunteers — is usually among the first to rush in. Their mission is to save innocent lives, regardless of religion or politics.

It's understandable to feel outraged, but use that feeling to inspire you to act. The more we care about the Syrian people today, the more lives we'll be able to save tomorrow. 

Syrians pray before burying the bodies of those killed in the chemical attack. Photo by Fadi Al-Halabi/AFP/Getty Images.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

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This article originally appeared on 03.19.15


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