The White Helmets of San Diego

The White Helmets of San Diego

When bombs rain down in Aleppo Syria, the White Helmets run. Not away from the mess, but into it. More than 50 bombs and mortars a day land in civilian neighborhoods, and White Helmets rush in to search for life in the rubble – fully aware that more bombs may fall on the same site. At great risk to their own safety, these volunteers have rescued 78,529 people from being buried alive since the beginning of the Syrian conflict.

While there may not be bombed out neighborhoods to run into, sometimes we need white helmets in San Diego too.

Recently a Congolese family who arrived from a Tanzanian refugee camp less than a year ago, became homeless. On a cold Tuesday in City Heights, a family of eight, including a 10-year-old boy with cerebral palsy, stood outside all day after their belongings had been scattered on the lawn in front of the apartment complex they once called home. They had nowhere to go and no one to call.

That’s when volunteers from San Diego Refugee Tutoring rushed into the rubble of this family’s life. They saw a desperate need and rather than running away from a complex and messy set of problems, they ran to provide support and care for this family. Volunteers helped secure short-term housing, provided for urgent practical needs, worked with agencies to find long-term housing, and arranged nightly meals while the family had no means of cooking.

Thanks to some courageous white helmets in San Diego who sacrificed of themselves to show mercy to others, this family was saved from being buried alive in the plight of homelessness. Last week, they moved into their new home. When the volunteers arrived, they were greeted with a proud smile: “Welcome to our home.”


Hope for San Diego supports San Diego Refugee Tutoring with volunteers and financial support.

If you’re interested in supporting refugees in San Diego through building relationships, please fill out our volunteer match form and we’ll help you find the opportunities to volunteer that best suit you.