Hawick donates generously for refugee crisis

Vanessa Reith and Yasmin Sonkur surrounded by donations for refugees. Picture: Derick Thomson

Vanessa Reith and Yasmin Sonkur surrounded by donations for refugees. Picture: Derick Thomson

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Much-needed donations have been given by Teries to a local charity in a bid to help refugees from Syria, Iraq and other countries.

Volunteers for CalAid Hawick, were stationed at the Catholic hall drop-off point in Buccleugh Street at the weekend and were thrilled to receive so many donations.

The drop-off event was organised by Vanessa Reith and Yasmin Sonkur, both 23, who were amazed at the amount of donations they received.

Miss Sonkur said on the CalAid Facebook page: “To say we have had a great response would be an understatement.

“It has been fantastic! I am so, so happy with how much we have received so far, more than we had imagined. Thank you so much to everyone.”

A wide range of items were dropped off, including plenty of men’s warm winter clothing, which is desperately needed given that the ratio of men to women is currently 10:1 in the refugee camps.

Miss Reith said that people have been so generous because this was not an appeal for monetary donations.

She said: “I think people have been especially generous for this cause because we weren’t asking for money. We needed things that people have already got sitting around in their house.

“There were some people who went out and bought new toiletries which was amazing, but generally it was things that people already had and wanted to put to a better use.”

Not content with setting up the drop-off event, the two ladies have been driving around Hawick collecting donations from people who couldn’t make it down to the hall.

Steph Raith commented on the CalAid Facebook page praising their efforts and the people of Hawick.

She said: “Well done girls. The wonderful, generous people of Hawick rallying around yet again, how lucky we are to live here.”

The organisers, who became friends at school, received so much that a further appeal was launched to search for a van to transport the donations to the drop-off point in Edinburgh.

Thanks to a Facebook appeal, a volunteer came forward and offered to drive their van up to the drop-off point with as much as they could carry.