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Local nonprofit collecting donations for Beirut explosion victims

World Help in Forest has 10-year long ties to Lebanon

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Whether it’s been on your TV screen or social media, you may have seen the image of what looks like an atomic bomb going off in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut.

“First thing that went through my mind was, ‘Oh my goodness, I was standing right there at that very same spot just a few months ago,‘” said Vernon Brewer, founder of World Help.

The faith-based organization, based in Forest, has a 10-year long humanitarian effort in the country that’s facing its worst economic crisis and a pandemic.

“And they then they have all these problems compounded. It’s just left people devastated. They can’t get food or water. It’s just in turmoil right now,” Brewer said.

Brewer said World Help is stepping into aid citizens and refugees, but he needs central and southwest Virginia’s help.

The group is collecting donations for the rebuilding.

“And we just found out on of the greatest needs they have is education. That’s where we’re focusing right now, and I guess the first job is to get that pre-school up and running,” Brewer said.

The blast has left more than 300,000 people homeless, more than 130 dead and others still buried in the rubble.

“We can take a step of faith and say, ‘I’m going to take a step and help someone less fortunate than me. I just hope and pray that people in this area will say, ‘You know what, we’re hurting, but they’re hurting more. I wanna be of help,’” Brewer said.

Click here to find World Help’s website and donate.