In the news: TODAY highlights Mercy Corps' work with Syrian refugees

Jordan, Syria, September 20, 2013

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  • Jordan Country Director Rob Maroni holds an 18-month-old Syrian girl he met in Zaatari refugee camp. Maroni leads our efforts to give refugee children comfort and normalcy after the trauma they have experienced. Photo: Mercy Corps

As the civil war in Syria spills into its third year, the alarming headlines and gruesome statistics can cause some people to wonder whether there’s anything they can possibly do to help. A story just out on and The TODAY Show website brings to life the daily struggles of Syrian refugee children and helps people find ways that they can get involved.

Mercy Corps's Country Director in Jordan, Rob Maroni, spoke with TODAY about the families he's met — and the tremendous need he witnesses every day. In particular, he highlights what it's like for children and what we are doing to help.

"With such hardship, people forget that little kids need to be picked up and held," he noted.

In addition to providing children with constructive activities and safe spaces where they can play, make friends and find support from trusted adults, Mercy Corps recently received a donation of 11,000 toys and games from Hasbro for Syrian refugee children in Jordan.

SEE PHOTOS: Toys bring smiles to Syrian refugee children

"It gives them an opportunity to use their imagination and play like little kids," Maroni explained.

Still, as noted in the article, Mercy Corps and other organizations point out that cash donations are the most critical and easiest to use to help refugees meet their basic needs for shelter, water, food and supplies.

Thanks to our incredible supporters, we have raised just over $1 million to fund our emergency work with Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.

But there is still more to be done — especially as more refugees continue streaming across the border virtually empty-handed. As winter approaches, Mercy Corps is focused on helping those who arrive by providing warm clothes, safe shelter, clean water and sanitation facilities, cooking supplies and other necessities.

How you can help

As the conflict intensifies in Syria, more families are fleeing to Jordan and Lebanon seeking safety. Your support is more crucial than ever to ensure refugees have the help they need to put their lives back together.

  • Follow the latest updates on Mercy Corps' response to the Syrian refugee crisis and share stories to raise awareness and support.

  • Donate today. You'll help us deliver clean water, distribute desperately-needed supplies and protect children during this crisis.