Volunteers give out 500 joggers to 500 happy faces
The best thing that happened this week was that we got to distribute a whopping 500 pairs of jogging bottoms. This means that 500 people will be able to walk round in fresh, clean pants. When you are used to looking at people in dirty, ragged clothes, you would be as excited as I am about this.
Because the guys are sleeping rough they rarely get to change their clothes, so jogging bottoms are great as they are much easier to hand-wash than jeans.
An older Sudanese man that I know came up to me at the start of one distribution and asked what we were giving out. I told him it was clothes but didn’t specify what, as I wanted it to be a surprise. He said he hoped they would be trousers, so he was smiling from ear to ear when he was given joggers.
I didn’t need to look closely to see that his old pair were dirty and grubby. No one should have to wear clothes like that.
At the end of the day in Calais, another man ran up to me. I thought he might want to change for a different size but actually, he just wanted to thank us. He handed me the following note:
شكرا جزيلا لكل اشي اليوم. انا كان بدي أقول شكرا. انا جديد هون و انا سعيد كتير عشان دعمكم.
[Thank you so much for everything today. I just wanted to say thank you. I am new here and I appreciate it.]
He’s Syrian and spoke in Arabic. I’m not fluent, but I could understand what he said – and even if I didn’t speak the language, his gratitude was crystal-clear from the huge smile he had on. These are the moments that make it all worthwhile.
We need your support to continue distributing the clothes that refugees desperately need. A new pair of joggers costs just £5. If you can, please chip in at care4calais.org/donate