North Shore woman enlists Facebook founder's help with refugee c - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

North Shore woman enlists Facebook founder's help with refugee cause

Marie Beechy (FOX 8 Photo) Marie Beechy (FOX 8 Photo)
PONCHATOULA, LA (WVUE) -

A North Shore woman is about to clear a milestone in her mission to help refugee children flooding into Europe, and she has gotten a big assist from one of the richest men in the world.

In the horse country of Tangipahoa parish, Marie Beechy's thoughts are a world away. She watched TV in horror as thousands of Syrian refugees were shown coming ashore on European beaches. But there  was one image, that moved her the most.

"It was a rescue boat, and they were pulling the baby out of the water," Beechy said.

While most looked on helplessly, Beechy, a nurse, moved into action. She reached out to a woman she met on Facebook who lived near a beach in Greece where the refugees were coming in. The woman was providing strollers to refugee children.

"I initially sent five strollers, and it grew from there," Beechy said.

Beechy began a website called onerefugeechild.org, and has now sent nearly 300 strollers to help refugee parents who are traveling hundreds of miles seeking shelter. Last week, she went to the Greek island of Lesvos to distribute some of her strollers in person.

"I've seen these children by the side of the road with no blankets, with nothing,"  Beechy said.

And she believes the U.S. can do more.

"I think we need to house them and support them," she said. "We're the greatest country in the world. Why aren't we taking people who are leaving such a terrible existence?"

Now, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has joined in Beechy's effort.

"The day Zuckerberg posted on us, we made $1,000, and the next week we raised $7,000 for the cause, and they tripled the people following us on Facebook," Beechy said.

Though the effort has taken off, the need remains great.

"We could give out a thousand strollers a day," Beechy said.

If you would like to help, click here.

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