Students and staff from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) helped sift through huge piles of donated food, toiletries and clothing which is due to be shipped to Ukrainian refugees in Poland.
A collection point was opened in the university’s Campus Centre by DMU Local and the De Montfort Students’ Union on Friday 4 March, while students set up a storage unit in East Street in the city centre.
Volunteers this morning with just some of the clothing donations
Just five days later and donations at both venues had to be suspended due to the overwhelming generosity of students, staff and members of the public.
Volunteers then helped sort through the massive backlog of goods. Once the current donations have been sorted and gifted, the appeal will be able to open its doors again.
The donations are due to be collected in DMU vans for delivery to the Polish Community Centre in Loughborough on Friday.
Violeta and Roze sorting through food donations
Among the volunteers working in the Campus Centre were Education and Psychology student Roze Arbaciauskaite and her friend Violeta Tamelyte.
Roze and Violeta are from Lithuania and they are passionate about doing what they can to help the people of Ukraine.
Roze said: “If we do not help the Ukrainian people I genuinely fear Lithuania could be next. The war is having a huge impact on Ukraine and the surrounding countries.
“I believe people should do what we would like others to do for us and step into the shoes of those people who are suffering so much at the moment.”
Violeta, who works as a COVID hotline operator for Lithuanians, added: “People are really terrified about what could happen next. We come to help because we know we might need help as well at some stage.
“I try to stay positive as much as I can, donate what I can and pray. I smile and send positive thoughts to the Ukrainian people.”
Bags of toiletries need to be checked through and packed
Fi Donovan, of DMU Local, said: “It is a real testament to our students and staff’s generosity that we have so many goods donated. We are really grateful for everyone’s support.
“We will be looking for volunteers again on Friday when we load the boxes on the DMU vans to make sure they get to the people who need them.”
For further information on volunteering opportunities and to find out how you can help on Friday 11 March email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on Wednesday 9th March 2022