Actress Susan Sarandon is spending her Christmas in Lesbos to bring awareness to the Syrian refugee crisis, reports Daily Dish. This weekend, she started sharing personal accounts from water-based rescue situations.
The "Dead Man Walking" star traveled to the Greek Island to meet with refugees who are fleeing the war-torn country, but Sarandon admits she also has a personal reason for the visit. "I have come to Lesbos and will stay through Christmas, to listen and learn the stories of refugees who are fleeing from war and persecution," she told People magazine.
"I also came to honor my grandparents, who were immigrants."
Sarandon posted on her Facebook page Monday morning that she was just asked on Twitter why refugees are fleeing. "They are fleeing war and religious and ethnic persecution," she shared.
"I asked a refugee mother with three small, freezing children, fresh off a dangerous boat crossing how she could leave without a man, a destination or a guarantee and she replied, 'Imagine you live on the third floor of a building and that building is on fire,' she said. 'If you stay you know you will die. If you jump, there is a chance you will live. What do you do? You jump.'"
"The international community must see what is happening in this corner of the world," she adds to Greek news agency ANA-MPA. "It must realize the size of the problem and understand it. These people should stop being somebody else and must become the refugees that we must stand by.
Sarandon's Facebook fans are appreciative she is sharing the stories of firsthand accounts, with some voicing they feel the U.S. media has not explained very well why Syrians are fleeing their homelands. One person, Shari Feldman, thanked her for using her fame to humanize people and to offer them her support in as many ways as possible.
Sarandon teamed up with RYOT and Huffington Post to share various stories of her experiences from joining sea rescue teams greeting fleeing refugees. In one from Sunday, she said, "Babies are passed into volunteers arms, wet shoes and socks removed, blankets distributed. There are tears of relief. These boats arrived safely. With inexperienced drivers, chosen randomly at the helm, this is not always the case."
She said sea rescue teams now have sophisticated systems in place to locate and guide boats to preferred spots on the beach, free of cliffs, with easy access to help. Team Humanity is one group that, with a borrowed boat and cell phones using WhatsApp, locate, guide and rescue human cargo, she states.
Sarandon's Facebook friend Arnie John Runge posted: "God bless you for helping humanity help others. A true class act all the way."
Sarandon posted Saturday: "I gave them dry socks, blankets, soup, and a tent. I could not give them hope."