We are really proud to announce a new partnership between Lebanon Free Shop and CamCRAG to ship and distribute the majority of the donations we collect to stock up the Free Shop, a project based in Bekaa offering refugees (~95%) and local people (~5%) the opportunity to select the decent items they want and need with choice and dignity.
Since May we have shipped several pallets of aid to Lebanon to support some of the hundreds of thousands of displaced people who have sought sanctuary there. The Free Shop is one of the groups who have received our aid, and they were impressed with the quality.
Much of the aid we collect isn’t suitable for Calais (e.g. large quantities of womens’ clothes or lightweight clothing in winter), and we love the Free Shop’s focus on respect and agency through local organisers. We hope to provide updates in the future from them illustrating how your donations are improving people’s lives.
Recently The Lebanon Free Shop has teamed up with Feed The Hungry, an excellent charity that runs the Coventry Food Bank, to send regular shipments to Lebanon from Feed the Hungry’s massive warehouse. So your donations will first go to Coventry, where they will join aid from elsewhere in the UK to be prepared and packed for their journey to Lebanon.
Our friends at The Aid Hub are helping organise the collection, sorting and packing of donations and have invited us to come along and join in at the massive sorting Saturdays they’ll be holding every few weeks. You can sign up to take part at https://lebanonfreeshop.theaidhub.uk.
Although no one from the Free Shop can attend our AGM this week, Elliot from The Aid Hub will be telling us a bit about the operation.
We haven’t forgotten about Calais: Our next convoy is this coming weekend, and we’re always collecting mens’ small and medium winter clothing and tents, blankets and sleeping bags to take to Collective Aid, our main frontline partner there.