Two local Lutheran churches have received more than 3,500 donated sweaters as part of a national campaign to help Syrian refugees in the Middle East.
Louise Rushton, spokesperson for Hope Lutheran Church on Carrick Street in Victoria, said her church and Lutheran Church of the Cross on Cedar Hill Road in Saanich sent 180 boxes to Winnipeg last week. Each box held about 20 sweaters and donations came from throughout the Capital Region.
“We had a lot of outreach from other communities, such as Sidney and Langford,” Rushton said, adding churches of other denominations also participated.
“When they heard the callout for this, St. Patrick’s (Catholic) church was having a fall (white) elephant sale and they collected all of their sweaters and sent them to us.”
Initiated by Winnipeg-based Canadian Lutheran World Relief, the sweater campaign is focused on helping Syrians living at the Z’atari refugee camp in Jordan. Children and adults staying there face a shelter shortage and many don’t have appropriate winter clothing.
Throughout October, the churches collected sweaters only, but a box of home-knitted hats was also received and sent along with the sweaters. Rushton thanked all those who donated and the volunteers who sorted and boxed the sweaters.
Oak Bay Home Hardware employees helped pack the trucks.
Those still wanting to donate to the Syria refugee cause are encouraged to contact local charities as the Sweaters for Syria drive is now over.
“It doesn’t matter what city or what country you are donating to,” Rushton said. “It’s the fact that you give what you have to help others.”