Support pours in for group sending container to Iraq

Support pours in for group sending container to Iraq

Support continues to pour in for a local group that is sending a shipping container full of supplies to Iraq.

Support continues to pour in for a local group that is sending a shipping container full of supplies to Iraq.

Hundreds of items, such as children’s clothing, medical supplies, blankets, scarves, sweaters and toques have been donated to the Compassionate Resource Warehouse, located in Esquimalt, over the past few weeks.

“This past week has been really busy with people calling and asking if we still need this and this,” said warehouse founder Dell Marie Wergeland.

In December, the volunteer group, which has sent 430 shipping containers of supplies to roughly 67 different countries over the past 16 years, decided to send a container to Erbil in the Kurdish region of Iraq to meet the needs of people from Mosul.

The city is currently under siege by the Iraqi army and other forces that are seeking to liberate it from ISIS occupation. Thousands of people have fled the city and the fighting, and are being placed in refugee camps in surrounding areas.

Now, those people are in need of supplies and warm clothing, as they head into the winter months.

Since news broke of the group’s efforts a few weeks ago, hundreds of people from around the province have chipped in to help.

Wergeland said people from as far away as Kelowna and Penticton have called, asking what supplies they still need. A group of women who were visiting Victoria for the holidays helped knit 90 toques, while another family sewed together blankets. A group from Vancouver brought over coolers to hold medications and heavy-duty pots for soup as well.

“People understand giving something tangible that somebody will use or wear. They see a picture in the newspaper or see it on the news . . . and in their mind, I think all of us visualize the person wearing that toque or wearing that jacket,” Wergeland said, adding Victoria’s recent cold snap has reminded people of the need for warm clothing.

“People can understand when people are in desperate need and they’re fleeing, they don’t have time to get warm. They don’t have the safety net that we do here.”

They’ve also raised about 80 per cent of their $15,000 US goal to help send the 40-foot container overseas.

While Wergeland is optimistic they’ll be able to fill the container, they are still in need of first-aid supplies, such as tensor bandages, tape and Polysporin to help clean wounds, as well as hygiene items.

They also need boxes of bags and Ziploc bags to help with distribution, so if people in Mosul don’t use the items right away, they can carry them with them.

On Wednesday, Jan. 11 (today), the group is holding a final push for donations at the Esquimalt warehouse, where people can tour the facility, ask questions or enjoy a cup of coffee from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Compassionate Resource Warehouse hopes to ship the container by Thursday of next week.

For more information visit crwarehouse.ca or call 250-381-4483.