Pupils from area primary schools in Shepshed, England sent a special Christmas delivery to refugee camps in Greece.
St. Winefride’s Catholic Voluntary Academy in Shepshed worked together with nearby schools Holy Cross Whitwick, Sacred Heart Loughborough, St Clare’s Coalville and St. Botolph’s Shepshed to collect warm clothes no longer needed by pupils and their families.
The clothes were sent to refugee camps in Greece where tens of thousands of people remain trapped.
The donated items were shipped to a warehouse in Thessaloniki run by Help Refugees UK. They will be distributed throughout the dozens of temporary refugee centers throughout northern Greece.
Head teacher Catherine Murphy told the local Loughborough Echo that the clothes are badly needed by refugees struggling to keep warm this winter, with many of them forced to live in tents that sit on the freezing hard ground.
“We have all been following the plight of Syrian refugees for several years now. We thought that, at Christmas time especially, we should think about those in the world who quite literally have nothing,” she said.
“We chose to help refugees specifically because of the sheer scale of their numbers as tens of thousands face a freezing winter with little more than tents and blankets.
The program included raising awareness amongst the elementary school students about the plight of the refugees and what it means to be a refugee.
“We talked with the pupils beforehand in general terms about what a refugee is and the life they live and the response from the pupils and their families was overwhelming. We filled three pallets worth of clothes, mostly children’s coats and warm winter clothes.”
Murphy’s son Luke was the inspiration behind the elementary school campaign.
He spent two weeks volunteering in northern Greece at a refugee camp near Nea Kavala where half of the one thousands refugees were children.