Our favorite comedian, talk show host and author has a giant new role–and it’s pretty serious. Chelsea Handler, stand-up comedian, former Chelsea Lately host and now the host of her convention-defying show on Netflix, Chelsea, is taking a more political stance by joining forces with the Chicago-based Karam Foundation to help Syrian refugees assimilate into American culture.
The Karam Foundation, alongside Monika Dixon PR, hosted Chelsea Handler at The Langham Hotel in Chicago Friday, May 5 for a luncheon with some of Chicago’s top influencers, philanthropists and fans to discuss the important impact the Karam Foundation has had on Syrian refugees. Tickets, which cost up to $2,500, benefitted the Karam Foundation and allowed Handler to speak directly with guests about how exactly the organization provides relief to Syrian refugees and why that is needed now more than ever. Guests also got a chance to enjoy some delicious food and the wonderful hospitality of The Langham Chicago.
The Karam Foundation is a small, non-profit organization that was started in 2007 in Chicago that provides humanitarian aid, educational support and sustainable solutions to Syrians in need. Karam, which means “generosity in Arabic,” has a mission of helping people help themselves. “We seek to restore the dignity and quality of life for people affected by conflict by eliminating barriers to success through innovative education, entrepreneurial development, and community-driven aid,” their mission statement reads. Not only does the Karam Foundation accept monetary donations for those living in the U.S., the organization also directly supports families overseas that are currently in Syria, Turkey and Lebanon.
While Handler mainly donates financially, the comedian sponsors dozens of refugee children overseas to go back to school. “To me personally it’s just something I can help with and donate my time and money and help families assimilate once they come over here,” Handler said during a press conference before the luncheon. “[I can] help kids who are in refugee camps go to school and get an education so they’re not forced into child labor when they’re displaced.”
Handler says as she’s gotten older she’s learned to put others before herself. “I’m really grateful that I can be a part of something that’s really changing people’s lives, helping people, knowing that they’re welcome here and that people want to help you and they want you to succeed,” she says. “It’s really impactful and meaningful.”
Visit the KaramFoundation.org to find out how to get get involved.
Photos by Gigi Baith