Appeal for Afghan children arriving in the UK

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“To light up a child’s heart is probably the best thing a person can do and it’s unforgettable.”

Last weekend we put a call out for help as we had received a request for support from Little Village HQ who are coordinating a response to the British Red Cross aid request on behalf of the Afghan children arriving in the UK and staying in quarantine hotels

On a local level you shared our posts, you sorted and packed clothes, you went shopping or donated online and you helped us ensure that 100 packs plus toys for a further 60 younger children were prepared within 24 hours. It was heart warming to see so many children and young people involved.

Thanks to social media updates, it was fantastic to see the packs arriving in London and being distributed alongside other fellow baby banks – working together to get help to where it is needed most.

Imagine our surprise when a few days later we received an email from a lady called Kamila:

I just wanted to thank you people at stripey stork for the wonderful work you do and for making my kids laugh in joy. I am an Afghan refugee, we arrived in London about 10 days ago. Getting out of Kabul airport was the most traumatic and difficult experience I have had in my entire life. Everything I had was left behind, not to mention I don’t have a single penny at all.
I was very worried because the weather is cold and my kids only had a few t-shirts. Thanks to you they now have jackets and clothes and backpacks full of essentials.
The mega blocks put huge smiles on their faces and it was great to see them happy after some time….(They kept mentioning their beloved toys they once owned.)
So, thank you very much. I received  2 parcels for 2 of my kids last night… they didn’t sleep till 10pm because they were so excited

Some families of 3/4 children are receiving packs for 2 children to be shared due to demand. We replied to the email and received the following update with a picture this time:

All you do means so much to me. To light up a child’s heart is probably the best thing a person can do, and it’s unforgettable. The warm clothes got here just in time, when I could see the kids were beginning to get a cold, so I am very grateful.

My oldest son (who thought he didn’t get anything the other day) also received a parcel last night with warm clothes, a jacket, and a backpack full of essentials.  He was over the moon! I had explained to him the night before, that he’ll have to share with his siblings  because they are many other kids who are in need too. After that he didn’t cry, he just asked: “are they smaller than me, the other kids? ” so I told him they are. Thank you for all your hard work. It’s much appreciated.

You can only imagine how moved we were to hear from this family and that the mum had taken the time to email at such a stressful time for them all.  We were so pleased to hear that our packs had brought some joy to the children and were obviously a relief to mum – and to imagine that this young boy was still thinking of others after all he has been through. What a brave and beautiful bunch of children they are.

Our team have been so motivated to receive this message and we know that many of you want to help too. Today we packed and sent out items for another 200 children and we suspect that there will be many more requests over the coming weeks.

Help us to create smiles on the faces of children like these.

You can sponsor a pack by donating here: https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/9010…

This will enable us to restock our supplies and help us make sure that we can include items for every age group. We estimate that each pack had £20 of new items included.

Each pack contains:
– at least two or three full outfits plus a coat and new pyjamas, underwear and socks
– a back pack with a water bottle, stationery and paper/activity packs
– a bag of small age-appropriate toys
– picture books
– toiletries (shampoo, bubble bath, wipes, tooth brush, toothpaste etc)

We can all feel so powerless watching stories on the news so it’s good to be able to focus and make a difference, even if we know there is still so much to do.

Thank you #TeamStork

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