Collecting coats restored Kara’s faith in humanity
I think my faith in humanity has been restored since I started collecting donations for #Coats4Calais in south London. Just weeks after my house became an official drop-off point, the local community had dropped off enough winter coats to fill up my entire garage. When I saw that huge mountain of bags I knew it was the perfect excuse for a road trip, so I rented a van and dropped it all off in Calais.
I stayed quarantined inside the van while the lovely volunteers at the Care4Calais warehouse unloaded all these bags bursting with winter coats, as well as some boxes of tents kindly donated by Just Shelter. It was good timing too, because the team told me there had been an eviction that morning and refugees really needed the warmth.
I wish I could say this success was all down to my hard work, but collecting these coats couldn’t have been easier. My friends contributed a bit, but strangers from the local community emailed me almost every day to organise drop-offs. Stand Up To Racism – South London also wrote about my drop-off point in their newsletter, which really helped spread the word.
Since I got back from Calais it’s been even busier. Around 30 people have donated bags of warm coats and just today I’ve received almost 10 emails offering more. The best part is that they’re all high-quality coats in great condition – some people even had them dry-cleaned!
It’s been a nonstop show of solidarity, and I’m so grateful to be able to help even when I don’t have the time to volunteer myself. Being a #Coats4Calais drop-off point truly allows you to see the very best of humanity.
– written by Kara Duffy, a volunteer