We could bring almost nothing with us. No clothes, no friends.
When we arrived for our distribution today, small children wearing flimsy clothes and flip-flops were standing outside, waiting for us in the cold. My heart went out to them, and to the adults hovering behind, also dressed in t-shirts and other clothes far too light for a wintry English day.
Fortunately, we brought hundreds of winter coats and shoes for them. We had to do the distribution outside, so we set up and got cracking as quickly as we could.
It was so busy! We give people the chance to change their first choices, and we know how appreciated this is, but it did mean things got a bit complicated, and communication wasn’t always so easy.
But then a hero arrived.
A girl staying at the hotel, called Rangen, only in her mid-teens, stepped through the crowd, and calmly began interpreting between volunteers and the mainly Arabic-speaking people we were there to help. Patiently and tirelessly explaining sizes and colours, she helped so many people, including us. It really is a privilege to meet people like her.
There was a lot of trying on and exchanging, which I think people enjoyed. Everyone kept in good humour, the volunteers worked incredibly hard, and in the end, we gave out 150 coats, 150 pairs of shoes and 200 hats. By the time we finished it was getting dark and cold, and you could see people pulling on their new coats, glad of the warmth.
“Thank you for today, it has been a big help,” one young woman told me as we were packing up. She had come from Nicaragua with her husband and three-year-old son. “We could bring almost nothing with us. No clothes, no friends. Today you made us feel welcome.”
You can help to make distributions as this one happen with your donations.