Syria is being torn apart by a violent civil war.  When airstrikes rain down on the rebel-held parts of Syria, a group of 3,000 civilian volunteers are usually the first responders.  They are officially known as the Syrian Civil Defense, but they are commonly known as the White Helmets.

This group was established in 2013 and their charter is simple:  to carry out search and rescue operations to save the maximum number of lives.  The group numbers approximately 3,000 volunteers and they may have been responsible for rescuing more than 60,000 people.  The extent of their sacrifice has put the White Helmets in contention for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The world is just learning of a very personal story of a White Helmet that pulled a newborn baby girl from the rubble of a bombed building in Syria after two hours of digging.  Although the baby is not the rescuer’s daughter, he later told reporters that it felt like she was.  The volunteer’s name is Abu-Kifah, and when the baby girl who he thought was dead came back to life in the ambulance, he burst into tears.

Their land is being torn apart by bombs and hatred.  The White Helmets are mending lives by courage and sacrifice.