The Clooneys want refugee kids to go to good schools, so they're paying for them.

Amal Clooney and her husband, George, are stepping up for children fleeing war in Syria.

The couple is planning a multimillion-dollar donation to Lebanese public schools, hoping to help provide a quality learning environment to thousands of students currently underserved "because they had the bad luck of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time."

George and Amal Clooney discuss refugee policy with Prime Minister Angela Merkel and German government officials. Photo via Handout/Getty Images.


"They have been victims of geography and circumstance, but that doesn't mean there isn't hope," the Clooneys told the Associated Press in a statement. "Our goal with this initiative is to help provide Syrian refugee children with an education and put them on a path to be the future leaders their generation desperately needs."

Hundreds of thousands of refugee children have settled in Lebanon, putting pressure on the country's education system.

In response, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) instituted a "second shift" at over 70 public schools.

According to the agency, the extra sessions are staffed by local teachers who frequently extend their work day to ensure that refugee children don't fall behind.

The Clooneys' funds will go toward training those teachers, as well as to providing school supplies, computers, and transportation for the students.

Students at a school for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. Photo by -/AFP/Getty Images.

The $3.5 million donation is from their Clooney Foundation for Justice in conjunction with Google and HP.

Still, there are limits to what one celebrity couple — even an uber-wealthy one — can do for the world's neediest.

The Clooneys have said the funds will aid 3,000 additional refugee children, but the U.N. estimates that some 200,000 in Lebanon alone are still not receiving an education.

Human Rights Watch has labeled the situation an "immediate crisis."

The world needs to step up with a comprehensive plan for the millions displaced by the conflict.

Then-Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi high-fives a child in a school for refugees in Lebanon. Photo by Marwan Tahtah/Getty Images.

That includes supporting the work that agencies like the UNHCR are doing. More importantly, it includes helping muster the political will to resettle them in safe countries — whether by making it easier for them to reunite with family or by more freely granting visas.

With anti-refugee sentiment running hot in the United States and much of Europe, relaxing rules and opening borders can feel like an improbable lift.

Still, it's critical to take action before it's too late in order for these millions of kids to grow up with the skills to confront a challenging, difficult world.

As the Clooneys recognized, there's more than one way to lose a life.

To help make the world a more welcoming place for displaced children and their families, you can visit and support organizations working to protect and serve refugees globally, including Amnesty International, the International Rescue Committee, and the Hebrew International Aid Society.

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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