Last week the Greek startup Taxibeat organized a city-wide campaign in Athens to gather clothing and other items that the non-profit MetaAction would distribute to various refugee shelters throughout Greece. Taxibeat enlisted volunteer taxi drivers that are part of its network to respond to citizens’ calls (via the Taxibeat app) to pick up items from their homes. Overall, 120 taxi drivers responded to thousands of calls and hundreds of volunteers were onboard to help pick up the donated items.
Here’s how the campaign unfolded, in 19 pictures:
1. Using the Taxibeat app, people throughout Athens summoned a driver. The app allows the driver to see the exact location (via GPS) where the location of the call is coming from.
2. The taxi driver and volunteer head to the location of the pick up.
3. An army of volunteers has been enlisted to assist each taxi driver to load the items that people want to donate to the various refugee shelters that MetaAction supports.
4. There are shoes.
5. And a lot of toys, since many of the fleeing refugees are children.
6. Most taxis were stuffed full because of the tremendous demand of the campaign.
7. Filling every last free space of the taxi.
8. The taxi driver then headed to the drop off location that was set up by the non-profit MetaAction, which was coordinating the effort.
9. The donated goods were unloaded from the taxis.
10. Items were sorted into categories.
11. There was so much that was donated that the entire operation lasted several hours.
12. But volunteers kept smiling, knowing that what they were doing would ultimately help someone in need.
13. There were piles and piles of merchandise that Athenians donated— enough to fill entire football fields.
14. The entire operation excited the numerous volunteers, showing the caring nature of so many people who were mobilized into action.
15. Some were even giddy with excitement, despite spending hours unloading and sorting.
16. Merchandise was then loaded onto trucks
17. And distributed to various refugee centers throughout the Greek mainland and islands, including this shipment to the island of Samos.
18. In the end, satisfaction for a job well done by the Taxibeat and MetaAction team of volunteers— especially the taxi drivers who gave up a day’s work to volunteer for this effort.
19. To get some badly needed food and clothing to people like this, at a refugee camp in Lesvos.
The Pappas Post has recently embarked on a fundraising endeavor to “support those supporting the refugees.” There are dozens of people and organizations throughout Greece who, although facing their own financial and economic stress, are involved in superhuman endeavors to help those arriving in Greece en route to other European countries. Please consider sharing and/or supporting this campaign. Click here to donate and see the campaign details.