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Culture

WWBT Sports, Arts, and Wellness Center Now Open in Lesbos

NEW YORK – When We Band Together (WWBT) co-founders Xander Schultz and Zoë Pappis shared an update on the organization’s latest project, a Sports, Arts and Wellness Center, now up and running in Lesbos.

Schultz said via email, “After a crazy year where we opened a COVID Hospital, provided temporary shelter when the Moria refugee camp burnt down, and partnered with the Red Cross to distribute emergency aid – we're looking towards a more stable 2021 where we can provide community centers where people can find joy, purpose, and dignity.”

WWBT is also “looking to chat with people, groups, foundations, companies, etc. that would like to provide a significant grant for the center, adopt one of our recreation areas (soccer field, basketball court, martial arts gym, etc.), and/or sponsor or lead the fundraising for a program that will be hosted at the center (art classes, music lessons, dance classes, martial arts, etc.).

More information about adopting a program is available online: https://www.wwbt.org/adopt-a-program.html.

Named in honor of Schultz’s late father Dave Schultz, the center is “a beacon of light within a very dark situation on Lesvos,” Schultz noted in his email.

Schultz and Pappis founded WWBT after spending a month volunteering on Lesbos at the height of the refugee crisis in November 2015, “as a way to continue helping from afar,” Pappis told TNH in a previous interview. “We started by selling bracelets made from the life vests with the goal of spreading awareness and driving support from the west. 100% of the proceeds we raised were brought back to Lesvos to purchase aid locally for the people in the camps. The bracelets were also a way to clean the beaches and employ local Greeks whose tourist economy was so badly affected by the influx of refugees.”

More information about WWBT is available online: https://www.wwbt.org/.

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