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Volunteering Unboxed: We Help Meet Needs of Syrian Refugees in Greece

Since early 2016, Global Volunteers Crete teams have been called upon by local authorities to help meet the needs of Syrian refugees in Greece.  To date, volunteers work packaging and sorting donated clothing at the port of Heraklion,  and preparing filled boxes for shipping to Athens. One team’s story:

More than a million refugees and migrants have traveled across Greece since early 2015.  Now the country is coping with 60, 000 children, women and men stranded by the closure of European borders. It’s impressive to see first hand, the generosity of the people here locally who have donated clothing for the refugee families.

clothes for syrian refugees in Greece

We work together sorting and packing clothes donated for Syrian refugees in Greece.

In the morning, we were back at the warehouse to help with the refugee clothing project.  Melody and Kathy focused on clothes sorting and I have channeled a skill of making boxes that I learned when I was in my 20’s.

I am convinced that my father is watching from Heaven and smiling.  He had insisted that I learn and appreciate manual labor.  Of course, at the time, I did not see the value of making boxes.  Now, I can hear him say, “I told you so.”

volunteers help syrian refugees in Greece

Bags of donated clothing are delivered every day to the port in van.

Our Team Leader Sam is what we call a “utility player.”  She sorts, bags, boxes, and keeps one’s spirits up.  The importance and its impact to the Syrian refugees in Greece cannot be overstated.   These clothes will be just one act of kindness towards restoring their dignity and self-worth.  It’s repetitive, but important work.

“Doing Something” and getting things done is our mission.  The opportunity to have an impact on people’s lives in this way is rewarding and humbling.  God willing, this team will make a difference.

teaching English in Greece

Linn, Tenia and students in our evening English class.

In the evening, we again met with students to work on their English skills.  Melody went to a new school, escorted by Sam’s daughter, Millie.  Kathy and I returned to Tenia’s English school.  All of us continue to be impressed with the students and energized by the experience of working with enthusiastic teens.

by Linn, Greece Volunteer

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