Thousands of volunteers have reportedly surfaced from all over Italy to assist in the aftermath of the fatal 6.2 magnitude earthquake which shook the central region, northeast of Rome, early Wednesday morning.
By Thursday afternoon, the death toll had risen to 241 and an estimated 2,500 people had been displaced from their homes due to the wreckage. The damages were so severe that Amatrice’s mayor said the “town isn’t here anymore.”
In this time of crisis, many Italians and migrants are rallying together in a show of fraternity to help the victims in Amatrice. One shelter for asylum seekers in southern Italy, Sprar Gioiosa Ionica, announced that 75 of its intake are donating a portion of their weekly benefits to the victims.
Touted as a “small but grand gesture of altruism” by Italian newspaper Vita, each of the asylum seekers are donating 14 percent of their weekly pocket money, which tallies to about 200 euros ($225.65) total.
Although the donations don’t add up to much money considering how much will actually be needed to repair damages and rebuild the town, the gifts have been graciously received by the Amatrice community.
In a statement about the donations, the coordinator of the Calabrian shelter said the migrants “have decided to give a small and symbolic gesture of solidarity with the victims of the terrible earthquake.” He further stated that they hoped the gift of their pocket money, though a small sum, will offer aid to those affected by the earthquake.
In times of political division and animosity, small gestures of unity such as these donations show that acts of kindness do not go unnoticed.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Ciro De Luca