making emergency kits for refugees

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11.02.17

Assembling Emergency School Kits for Refugees @ohbotherblog

Since January 20, 2017, I have personally been trying to make small, positive efforts when I feel appalled about current events.

On January 27, I started a monthly gift to Planned Parenthood because I believe we all should have access to comprehensive and affordable healthcare. On January 29, I started a monthly gift to the ACLU because I believe that the rights and liberties of all people matter. This week, I purchased some Spanish-language early-learner novels to donate to our local public school district in response to the appointment of the current Secretary of Education. 

I’ve also been working on a project with some friends since the January 28 announcement of a certain “travel ban.” Feeling helpless, I googled ways that I could help refugees in my own small way and I found IOCC, International Orthodox Christian Charities.

IOCC offers emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide, without discrimination. An average of 92 cents on every dollar donated goes directly to assisting the people IOCC serves, in areas like Syria, Lebanon, Jerusalem, Haiti, the United States and more.

One of IOCC’s initiatives is the Donation of Emergency Kits. Emergency kits are small packages of essential supplies assembled in the United States and shipped to people in need around the world.

Types of Kits

  1. Health / Hygiene Kits – Curb the spread of disease by donating basic hygiene items.
  2. School Kits – Give a child the tools needed to succeed at school.
  3. Clean-up Buckets – Help people clean up after a natural disaster.

I bought enough materials to make 12 School Kits for about $100, including the canvas bags. I wanted to make it an activity I could do with my kids, so I showed Holdy this video before we got started to help frame the conversation:

Assembling and Sending Emergency Kits:

  1. Choose which type of kit (or kits) you wish to assemble and only include items specified on each list.
  2. Download the IOCC Emergency Kits Return Shipping Label to fill out an include one on the outside of each box.
  3. You can plan on $2-$3 per kit to cover the cost of shipping to the warehouse. Mail all kits to one of the below addresses.
USPS Shipments FedEx or UPS Shipments
IOCC/Church World Service
Brethren Service Center Annex
601 Main Street
PO Box 188
New Windsor, MD 21776
IOCC/Church World Service
Brethren Service Center Annex
601 Main Street
New Windsor, MD 21776

With the help of my friends, Kevan, Emily, Sara, Andy, Sarah and Jennifer, I delivered 32 School Kits and 14 Hygiene Kits to IOCC this morning.

I’ll continue to take action when and how I can. If you find yourself feeling angry and helpless, I encourage you to do the same.

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