The Whatcom Peace and Justice Center and Voices for Peace in the Middle East will sponsor a donation drive this summer to support refugees stranded in Europe. Goods collected will be traded for funds to support humanitarian and medical aid for people affected by conflict and natural disaster in the Middle East.
Since March 2011, an estimated 9 million Syrians have fled their homes to escape war. Most are internally displaced within Syria, while over 4 million are in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. One million have applied for asylum in Europe. The United States has pledged to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of September; to date, 4,700 people have been approved by U.S. Homeland Security.
Refugees migrating to Europe from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan cross the Mediterranean Sea, arriving on beaches in the Greek isles. Locals scramble to provide them with food, water, and emergency supplies before they continue on to UN refugee camps. The Salaam Cultural Museum in Seattle is collecting and distributing aid to these areas in Greece.
Potluck on June 20th
Rita Zawaideh of the Salaam Cultural Museum will speak about the crisis and show photos of relief work happening in Greece at a Bellingham organizing meeting and potluck on June 20, 2016. This kickoff for the donation drive will be held at the Community Food Co-op Connections Classroom (405 East Holly Street) at 6 p.m.
Parking: Please park in the lot behind the Bakery building or along the street. Handicap parking spots are in the front of the building.
Donation drive: How it works
Items donated will be collected on a to-be-announced date and location in August and delivered to Value Village in Bellingham.
Value Village will pay 20 cents per pound of soft goods, which include clothing, shoes, hats, scarves, undergarments, jewelry, accessories, bags, wallets, bedding, towels, curtains, tablecloths and other cloth materials.
Value Village pays 5 cents a pound for hard goods, which are toys, small household goods and appliances, books, CD's and DVD's.
Items that will not be accepted are weapons, hazardous materials, construction materials, flammable products, automobile parts, damaged furniture, beds, bedding parts, televisions, computer monitors, infant car seats, cribs and other infant products restricted by law. Also, swing sets, food, pets, large appliances, marine vessels, swimming pools, vehicles, cash and intangible property are not accepted.
Value Village publishes this list here: https://www.valuevillage.com/donate/what-we-take
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