We finally got to see the baby boxes-one of the main purposes of our trip! They are located in a warehouse about 5 min outside of Alexandreia and supported by an amazing NGO- once again my hope for a future was shown in the volunteers who have left their lives and love ones to travel head first into this humanitarian crisis and work.
Roll up your sleeves kind of work, sorting clothes and donations is the furthest thing from being fun and exciting. But like us, they are driven by the faces of this refugee crisis they see everyday- knowing that sweater they are folding will keep a mother warm, the pants a toddler dry, those 4″ stiletto heels………….ok, not so much! Remember the group you are donating to when you throw that item into your donation bag!
The baby boxes were on 2 pallets, the baby boxes needing to be origami-ed together, all of the other items added: onesies, washcloths, bib, hat, mittens, mattress, wash cloth……we TOTALLY rocked it- in an hour we had the 20 boxes we needed for the morning, swept up our work area and we on the road to our first camp!
Once again the camp we visited was after we had twisted and turned down urban roads, in an industrial area to an old warehouse with tents set up inside. Nuture Project (NP) works in the 2 camps we are going to today. They work with pregnant and nursing mothers- we had a bit of a problem getting into the camp. OK, the military guards did not want us there. But with many smiles and shrugged shoulders he let us bring the boxes to NP’s iso box and then NP volunteers went into the building to have the mothers come out.
Joy of joys, babies. Like really cute babies. The kind I had to tell one of our team that “no, he will not fit into your carry-on”. It is so true that the magic of a baby is felt by so many. Older children would ask to see and kiss the babies, women want to ohh and ahhh. Such hope.
Our next stop was to a Jumbo to load up on diapers and wipes to add to the boxes- so very thankful for the maps on our phones that led us 15 min away straight to a Jumbo! Once loaded we headed out to the 2nd camp of the day. NP works in this camp also and said it would be MUCH easier to get in. Apparently George the VERY proper police man did not get this memo this morning! He was NOT a happy camper. Knowing how to play this game, lots of smiles. He let us set up across the street from the camp entrance- we had no more than 4 camp NGO’s come to see us to see what we were doing. A person with NP had just thought the other day how great baby boxes would be for the camp- she was so surprised to see us show up days later with just what she was thinking!!!
We returned to the warehouse to pack up more boxes for the next day- again we totally banged them out in record time!!!
Thank you for all your love and support- we are feeling it over here in Northern Greece!