A campaign lead by Rotarians in South England outperformed all expectations by collecting over 6,500 bags of warm winter clothing to be donated to Ukraine.
Over 50 Rotary clubs responded to the appeal made by Rotary District 1145, taking to local shops to ask the public to fill shopping trollies with their unneeded clothes.
By October 2022, 80% of the windows in Ukrainian cities had been broken as a result of bombing and 40% of the country’s energy systems were destroyed or seriously damaged.
With temperatures forecasted to regularly go below freezing during the winter, there was an urgent need to provide protection to those in Ukraine.
Rotary District 1145 launched the appeal at the start of November and ran it for three weeks, originally expecting to collect 500 bags of clothes due to the appeal being at such short-notice.
The district was delighted when thousands of clothing items, thermal underwear, sleeping bags, blankets and ‘low to ground’ camp beds were donated by the public.
5 storage depots were needed to store all the bags that were donated and 3 40-tonne trucks were hired to transport the winter essentials over to a distribution point in the Czech Republic.
Across the regions of the District, dozens of Rotarians gave up hours of their time to load the heavy bags into the lorries so they could leave for the Czech Republic on time.
The clothes were warmly received back in Ukraine, with Ukrainian Rotarians helping to distribute the items across the country.