Provide direct support to Palestinian families through Operation Olive Branch

Dear Editor,

I am writing to share information about Operation Olive Branch (OOB), a volunteer-run, collective effort to support displaced Palestinians. While OOB has gained traction on social media, there are still many people and groups in our community (such as churches) who may not be aware of it yet. This letter is for them.

Many displaced families in Gaza have started mutual-aid campaigns, often through GoFundMe, as a way to support their critical needs. These vary by family, but usually include food, medical care, and resources needed to evacuate. OOB collects and organizes these disparate campaigns into a single spreadsheet, which can be accessed here:

You can engage with this spreadsheet in several ways. You can donate directly to a particular family's GoFundMe, or to one of the more general campaigns highlighted by OOB (such as perinatal care or drinking water -- both especially critical needs at this time). You can "adopt" a single family by donating to and advocating especially for them, or you can donate smaller sums to several families, which has been my own approach. A circle of friends, faith group, or extended family could also band together and support a single campaign.

Advocacy is another way to engage with the spreadsheet's campaigns. As many of these families are documenting their lives on social media, you can engage with them and share their stories with your own online audience. You can also amplify their voices in your own way. For example, an artist friend of mine is painting and selling portraits of displaced people, with all proceeds going to their respective GoFundMe campaigns. Every little bit helps to support the humanity of people who are truly experiencing inhumane conditions.

Thank you,

Adam Whittier