After 2 days of sorting we distributed women’s clothing near the entrance of the camp. We would be out distributing for 5-6 hours so our van had snacks and water if we needed to grab something. We met with the interpreters and Iris House founder and volunteers at the container
area at 9:00am. All of our bags had been packed and were ready to load into our cars from the other day. In all 64 bags of aid was squished/smashed into our 2 vans. Before we left for the camp Janne (founder of Iris House) has us all gather and go over how distribution was going to happen.
We would lay the aid on 1 of 2 tarps with a walkway in the middle. Our vans would form 1 wall, and picnic tables another wall. The tarps would be labeled “S/M/L” and we would take out the coats, pants, sweaters, hats, gloves and socks for every one to take one of (except for the socks- there were 100’s of them so everyone got to pick 4 pairs). I got the corner with the socks/hats/gloves. Each resident would register with Janne so she can keep track of where/to whom the aid is given.
One of the interpreters went and handed out tickets for 50 people at at time to come line up to pick aid. There are 3 areas at Vial “A”,”B”,”C”. Each area would get a chance to pick out items. Only 5-8 people were allowed into the shopping area at a time. We had interpreters around us and other volunteers to help with any questions we had. I got to hold a couple of babies while their mothers shopped (1 was a 10 day old baby) highlight of the day!!
The women looked weary, their lives so topsy turvey. No end in sight. But is was happy, the mood upbeat and light. We gathered from around the world, in many cases a smile or gesture the only shared language. But we laughed, talked, made faces to the kids, shoed away the naughty boys who kept walking on our clean tarps (with a smile), it was a good day.
Over 1,000 pieces of clothing were handed out- tomorrow we get to distribute the children’s items we sorted.