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Coronavirus5 min read


Box it up: Staff members help sort and pack thousands of clothes

Sam Campbell
Jul 17, 2020

It’s been pretty quiet around the World Help offices lately. No all staff meetings in the family room. No birthday celebrations. Since March, staff members have been working remotely from the safety of their own homes, with only a handful of people trickling in and out of the offices as needed.

Like many organizations these days, virtual Zoom meetings are what keep the staff connected.

But last Friday, July 10, staff members had the chance to come together for a good cause. The World Help Distribution Center in Lynchburg, Virginia, recently received more than 500,000 units of clothing from companies like Vetta Brands, Under Armour, and Hybrid Apparel. During this difficult time during a global pandemic, these donations are a huge blessing.

However, all the clothes needed to be sorted and packed before being sent to our partners around the world … but the staff were more than ready to jump in and help.

Everyone had the chance to sign up for a morning or afternoon shift. Dividing workers into two smaller groups kept people safe and in accordance with social distancing guidelines. Though it only took a few hours out of their day, the two teams managed to sort and pack 10,000 pieces of clothing!

“I helped sort and fold men’s shorts, collared shirts, and T-shirts,” said Aly Schmidt, Digital Marketing Coordinator.

“It was my job to sort through clothes and sort them by size,” said Amber Woodcock, Travel Manager. “After doing so, I packaged them up to be shipped.”

The coronavirus pandemic has taken away many jobs. And for people who were already living in poverty, this lack of income has caused a mountain of new hardships … one they struggle to climb every day.

Not only are they out of work, but many families in developing countries are still under strict lockdowns. Even if they had money to buy food, they couldn’t get it. Markets are closed, and mandatory curfews are regulated by police. These families have no way of providing for their children.

Thankfully, the boxes of apparel that staff members helped pack will provide durable clothing for families in some of the poorest communities. Fathers will have shirts and pants for when they return to work. Mothers will have new clothes that aren’t torn from walking miles to fetch water. And once cooler months and cold nights begin to blow in, children will have coats to keep them warm.

Families in places like Uganda, Guatemala, Iran, and Nepal are struggling just to put food on the table, but now clothing will be one less thing they have to worry about.

With her mask in hand, Church Relations Coordinator Donna Faircloth arrived at the packing event eager to do her part. She knows firsthand the impact durable clothing can have on a community.

“In my role at World Help, I have the privilege to go to several countries and personally see joy on the faces of many who receive much-needed clothing,” Donna said. “They are so grateful to receive quality clothing that they wouldn’t normally be able to afford or even have access to.”

It’s those joyful faces and gratitude that motivated staff members Friday as they packed box after box. That … and the fact that they got to see each other after nearly four months.

“I love spending time with the people I work with, and it was nice to see some faces that I don’t normally work directly with,” Aly said. “Having the ability to work from home is great, but seeing coworkers was very refreshing!”

If you live in the Lynchburg area, we would love for you to come volunteer with us in the future. Donating a few hours of your time is just one way you can help people in desperate need around the world.

“I appreciate being a small piece of the puzzle in making a difference,” Amber said.

After volunteering, you’re bound to feel the same way.

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