Volunteer fills van with winter clothes in 2 hours

Volunteer fills van with winter clothes in 2 hours

It was so cold when I took my dog for a walk yesterday morning. Even with Timberland boots on my feet were still freezing. I thought back to the posts I had read about people in Calais struggling without warm shoes and winter clothes, and the immediacy of their situation suddenly hit home. I guess feeling the cold for yourself is the most powerful reminder of all.

When I got back I messaged my neighbourhood WhatsApp group, which we set up at the start of the pandemic to help people who were self-isolating. My question was simple: did anyone have warm winter clothes they could donate to help refugees sleeping rough in France?

That was at 10am. By 12pm, I had bags and bags of donations piled up at my front door. People dropped stuff off and then rang the doorbell so that I could safely come and collect. Within those two hours I had gathered enough bags to fill up a small van.

I didn’t know what to expect from carrying out a collection, but honestly – it could not have been easier. After just a simple message, people quickly came through with an unbelievable amount of thick knit jumpers, winter coats, hoodies, tracksuit bottoms and waterproof jackets.

It all happened so fast that I decided to pop by my local collection point during my lunch break. When I got back there were already more bags waiting for me at home, but the collection point is only a 10-minute drive away so I can just return tomorrow.

If you want to organise a collection or have clothes you could donate, the process is incredibly simple. Just do what I did: look at the list of priority items, message your friends and neighbours, then contact your local drop-off point to organise a donation. That’s it. If we all took the time to do this, we could make a world of difference together.

– written by Tanya Wilkinson, a London volunteer

To get involved go to care4calais.org/coats4calais

About Care4Calais

Care4Calais was founded by a group of volunteers with the sole aim of supporting the people of the Calais refugee camps, providing fresh meals, warm clothing, heating and important legal and medical support.

We are not politicians – we are people like you who simply believe that every human has the right to be treated in a fair and dignified way.

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