Herculean Efforts: The Dirty Girls of Lesvos

2

First in a series of brief stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things in Greece to help desperate refugees arriving daily in the country. At the end of every story, we will share website, Facebook and any funding pages that the group currently has in place.

When refugees arrive on Lesvos after the sea journey from Turkey, they are drenched with sea water. Aid organizations give them new clothes and their perfectly good, but wet clothes, are discarded.

Volunteers gathering, sorting and bagging tons of clothes weekly left behind that would normally have been thrown away

Volunteers gathering, sorting and bagging tons of clothes weekly left behind that would normally have been thrown away

In addition to being a waste of tons of clothing every week, the trashed clothes add to the environmental problems of the landfill on Lesvos, which is already filled with discarded life vests and other garbage, including discarded rubber dinghies.

Susan Sarandon stops by to help the Dirty Girls with a load of laundry (Photo: Tyson Sadler via Huffington Post)

Susan Sarandon stops by to help the Dirty Girls with a load of laundry (Photo: Tyson Sadler via Huffington Post)

Now, a volunteer movement exists called Dirty Girls of Lesvos. They collect the clothes and have them laundered at a commercial laundrymat. The cleaned clothes are then sorted and distributed so that they can be reused.

Because of monetary donations, from people all over the world who want to help, the Dirty Girls of Lesvos have been able to recycle thousands of items of clothing that would have otherwise been tossed in a landfill.

What does half a day's blanket wash look like? You don't want to see what the same blankets would look like at the local dump. Cost of wash? €3 each. Cost of replacing? €6 each plus contribution to an environmental crisis on Lesvos. (Photo via Dirty Girls Facebook page)

What does half a day’s blanket wash look like? You don’t want to see what the same blankets would look like at the local dump. Cost of wash? €3 each. Cost of replacing? €6 each plus contribution to an environmental crisis on Lesvos. (Photo via Dirty Girls Facebook page)

Even Susan Sarandon stopped by a Dirty Girls sock pairing party, who praised the organization as one of the most effective groups on the ground in one of her regular posts she made via The Huffington Post.

Dirty Girls was founded by Alison Terry-Evans, an Australian who has spent significant time on Lesvos and saw an opportunity to help when she saw photos in the media with beaches littered with clothing, left behind from incoming refugees.

The Dirty Girls on Facebook

The Dirty Girls fundraising page

Alison Terry-Evans, founder of the Dirty Girls (Photo via Facebook)

Alison Terry-Evans, founder of the Dirty Girls (Photo via Facebook)

 

Share.