Yorker's visit to Macedonia turns into mission to cheer Syrian refugees


It started as a call to action on social media.

Heidi Storey, who works in York County, was planning a trip to see her family in Macedonia, where she's from.

Before her departure, she wanted to do something to help the thousands of Syrians fleeing their country.

Her goal was simple. She wanted to take 100 pounds of American candy, eight packets of crayons and coloring books along with her. She would use the donations to make gift bags to hand out to children riding on trains coming through Macedonia.

Within days, her call was heard. Members of the Jewish Community Center, where Storey works, helped with her personal mission.

She took more than $1,600 and a lot of donations with her.

"I'm so thankful to all of you who sent coloring books, crayons and candy," Storey said.

"I saw more smiles today than I thought possible — it cheered up the kids, adults, and even the volunteers prepping supplies in the hot sun. I even handed out lollipops to the police."

"I was blown away by the gratitude of the adults and the resilience of the children."