Smiles all around as refugees given 250 new boots
Yesterday in Calais, an amazing group of volunteers pulled off a major feat. Working together, we distributed 250 pairs of brand-new waterproof walking boots, together with 100 power banks and 50 tents.
Good-quality shoes are the number-one most needed item in Calais, and with the heavy rain and freezing temperatures there right now, this need has never been greater.
The line of waiting refugees was endless, and expectations were high. The whole team worked incredibly hard to ensure that every person was served effectively and with care. But the distribution still took nearly three hours to complete, meaning three hours of people standing in line in the freezing cold. We had to make sure they all knew that we were doing everything possible to help them, and that they would all be seen in the end.
These 250 new boots equate to £5,000 in stock, so we cannot afford to waste a single pair. We also took power banks to ensure that anyone who didn’t have a real need for boots still had an alternate and equally high-value choice. Tents are also always needed in Calais; yesterday was no exception.
Thanks to our volunteers, 250 people will no longer have sodden, cold or infected feet, and will be significantly more comfortable while walking miles every day, as refugees must. Another 100 people will have the added security of extra battery life – essential when you don’t know when you will be able to charge your phone next in order to contact your loved ones. Further, 50 others will finally get a dry night’s sleep in a new tent.
We are massively grateful to every donor who made this experience possible, and would like to thank this team who gave their all to make yesterday’s donation a success.
Unfortunately, there are still many more sites in northern France that are in desperate need of waterproof boots, and many more people who are suffering in sodden shoes, feeling cold and in pain. To help, just click here.