I hope you’re having a great start to autumn! Last weekend I was lucky enough to help out with a brilliant project that two local mums, Emily and Claire, were inspired to set up to help Syrian refugee children arriving in Greece.
They put out a call for donations of ‘Bags of Hope’ to send over to children arriving there exhausted and distressed with literally nothing. The bags included a full set of warm clothes, a book, a toy, toothbrush and toothpaste, snacks, and whatever other goodies from the piles of donations could be crammed into them. There was a huge response to the appeal, and as well as many, many completely finished bags, which had taken them hours to put together, people also gave a huge and incredibly generous amount of loose donations – and that’s where the big sorting weekend came in. Emily and Claire had commandeered a removals warehouse from the fabulous George Lambert and Sons removals co. in Fernhurst, and now it was full of stuff, ready to be sorted and put into bags by a team of volunteers (which I was lucky enough to be part of), which were then boxed up and lifted (in a Herculean effort, for hours and hours, by Emily’s husband Simon!) into the huge wooden storage containers, all fueled by a large table of home made cake.
It was such a wonderful thing to be part of, and so inspiring to see what these amazing ladies achieved, just by deciding to get on and do something to help. What started in their living rooms ended with well over 3000 bags, some of which have already been distributed to needy children, and many more which are about to go very shortly. If you’d like to find out more, read the wonderful and moving e-mail from the aid workers in Greece who gave out the first batch of bags, or see how you can still help (they need some extra funds to help the second lot get there, and some bulk food deliveries as they can squeeze a few more vital things into the second container), visit their facebook page, Haslemere’s Gift of Hope, here. You may be inspired by their story to come up with ways you can make someone’s life a little better, too – maybe in your town or school. They have certainly inspired me!