The gift of warmth in the shape of jumpers, sleeping bags, coats and other clothes will be delivered this Christmas to refugees fighting the cold in Paris thanks to appeal donations from Leicester.
Students and staff at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) responded with gusto to the Winter Warmer appeal run all month by the Students’ Union and the #DMUlocal team.
The volunteers sort out the donated clothes
The piles of clothes and toiletries donated during the last few weeks of term were sorted on Wednesday by student volunteers and will be transported to Paris by the Leicester-based charity LE Solidarity.
Messages of support were also written by students to go with each of the parcels to the refugees.
“I’m always amazed by the amount of generosity within the community to something like this,” said Pritesh Nathubhai, from #DMUlocal. “It’s been a really good response, and all this will make a huge difference.”
Warm clothes destined for Paris are piled high
For Fatema Gaffar, 22, this week’s clothes sorting was the first time she has volunteered with #DMUlocal.
The third year Medical Science student said: “I wish I had done it earlier. I quite like doing it.
“My course is quite demanding but because I stay at home in Leicester for Christmas, I thought I’d volunteer. I’m glad I did, it makes you feel nice to be able to help others.”
Scott Davies, who has clocked up more than 200 hours of voluntary work, often helps at LE Solidarity’s warehouse as well as with the campus-based appeals.
The 25-year-old third year Business and Management student from Newark said: “When I first got involved with LE Solidarity, I was helping in their warehouse and they showed us how to sort through the donations.
“Sometimes, when the collection vans arrive, we take all the stuff off before sorting the donations out, or sometimes we load another van that’s about to head to France.
“It’s always good to help people. During the last appeal, I helped load the van, then not long afterwards I saw on their Facebook page the stuff being distributed in France – that was really good to see.”
Student volunteers spread festive cheer at Christmas party for pensioners
Find out more about being a student volunteer with #DMUlocal
Volunteer Scott spends holiday helping children
The Winter Warmer appeal was launched following the success of a donation drive held on the DMU campus in October as part of a 24-hour event to support the United Nations’ Global Goals.
Essential items such as toiletries and non-perishable food were collected and sorted into aid bags that were then taken by LE Solidarity to give to people living in the refugee camps at Calais.
LE Solidarity is a non-profit community charity that since 2015 has collected aid and raised funds to buy aid for refugees in Leicestershire as well as in the refugee camps of Europe, Lebanon and Syria.
Posted on Thursday 20th December 2018