Samara appeal - thanks

Samara’s Aid Appeal is focused on the relief of suffering through the provision of humanitarian relief, and the practical demonstration of God’s love in action.Currently their main focus is on Syria and Iraq where there are nearly 22 million people, combined, in need of humanitarian assistance. Look at their website for full details

                                                        Liz Deakin with some of what was given    

   We asked for help locally and everything had to be collected in by January 31st. What a response! Revd Lesley Birtwistle headed up the practicalities of the operation locally. Here is what she says:

"When I first started asking for help with this appeal, with only just over 3 weeks to go before the deadline for taking items to the nearest collection point, I thought that I’d be doing well if the donations filled half a dozen boxes. How wrong I was!  I totally underestimated your wonderful generosity, which quite overwhelmed me. Thank you very much indeed to all of you who contributed gifts of clothes (including lots of lovely warm coats), shoes, blankets, duvets, baby items etc, all in excellent  condition, and/or monetary donations. On 2nd February, we were able to take the magnificent total of 43 banana boxes and 27 bags to Hinckley, where we met Samara herself, supervising the delivery of mounting stacks of boxes from ourselves and other donors. Everything was to be picked up and taken to Worthing two days later and at the end of the week, loaded on to a vehicle with capacity for around 1750 boxes, for transportation to the destination. It was anticipated that this load would go to Kirkuk in Iraq where it would be received and the contents distributed by a local partner – in this instance a church community in the province. We could thus be assured that it would reach displaced persons in desperate need in that area.

I would like to add some special “Thank-you’s”.  First of all to Tesco in Ashby, who were so very friendly and helpful in responding to a number of pleas for boxes, as the amount of donations grew. And secondly to my stalwart helpers – Liz Deakin and Jane Hall – who worked tirelessly in sorting, packing and labelling the items – and David Harrison, who with Liz and myself, delivered the goods to Hinckley, and whose skills in loading and moving pallets proved invaluable!

This has been a real team effort!  Together we have provided a small but practical demonstration of love and care for some of our fellow human beings living in desperate circumstances thousands of miles away. Do remember them, Samara and her team and her partners on the ground in your prayers. And again – many thanks!"

Here are photos of our collection being delivered to Hinckley :



                                                                                   Lesley with Samara

Samara's appeal overall has benefitted some 100,000 displaced people in Iraq. Here's a picture of Samara amongst the boxes!

Samara writes in thanks:

"Before I say anything else, I would first like to say an enormous thank you to all of you for your enthusiasm, commitment, hard work and love over the last few weeks. 
It has been a very exciting four weeks since Canon Andrew White and the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East's mailing of our winter aid appeal to their supporters.  As we expected, there was a tremendous response, and in this short time period you have achieved the most amazing results!
In just four weeks, you have collected, sorted, packed and delivered more than 9,500 boxes of winter aid and huge number of wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, nappies and sanitary products.  Across the storage hubs we loaded four full lorries of aid which are now en route to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.  We are loading a fifth lorry next week in Worthing and will have enough to then fill a 40' container of medical aid, blankets, bedding and towels for Syria too.  I am also currently negotiating prices for two more ambulances for Syria.
SIX consignments, collected in just four weeks is a truly amazing effort and I am so grateful to all of you to have had the opportunity to work on this with you all.
I am also more grateful to you than I can say for helping me to raise the money needed to pay for each lorry while you were collecting.  It has made such a big difference to me to see your donations and cheques coming in.
Once again, I have been very humbled by the response of so many amazing people to this appeal, and I really love hearing your stories of how people's hearts are touched through being part of this work.  It remains a huge privilege for me, and all of the volunteers involved to be a part of this work, and to spend our time working with such an inspiring and encouraging group of people as you.  Thanks so much for making it all possible.




Below are photos which show how so many people are living and some statistics as we continue to pray for these folk.




There is a huge humanitarian crisis in the Middle East.  These figures are taken from UN reports unless otherwise stated:

SYRIA: More than 7.6 million internally displaced people (IDP's), many of whom are sheltering in tents, unfinished buildings, abandoned factories, animal sheds.

IRAQ:More than 3.1 million people displaced since January 2014 (International Organization for Migration). Hosting more than 250,000 Syrian refugees

KURDISTAN REGION OF IRAQ 28% of the population are displaced people and refugees.

LEBANON 1 in 4 people in Lebanon is a refugee Hosting 1.2 million refugees.Lebanon has the highest ratio of refugees per person in the world.  This puts an enormous strain on the infrastructure of the country and creates rising tensions between the host and refugee communities. 2.9 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Lebanon

JORDAN Nearly 750,000 people residing in Jordan in need of assistance (UNHCR)