Posted Nov 4th
The first load came about as a result of our deciding to try to get to meet & make friends with more of the neighbors in our street. Each weekend we knocked on one or 2 doors & suggested that we have a cup of tea together, either at their place or at our place! In the course of our meet-and-greet initiative, we met with a very nice Samoan couple, John & Simone, living 2 houses down. Being very active in charity & mission work themselves, they were interested in our work & took one of our flyers asking for donations of books & clothes.
A week or so later, they invited us to do a presentation for their 30 or so staff at the Fiji branch of a well-known regional organisation. Without telling us, John asked a second hand clothing company, Value City, if they could buy some discounted clothes to give to us. The Value City manageress replied that they already know about Pacific Outreach as they’ve been receiving our inspirational power points that we send out each month! (In fact one senior member of staff has been receiving our Activated magazine for many years, but we never thought of approaching them for clothes). She said they could donate 4 large bales of clothes, amounting to about 600 kgs!! If you imagine that your check-in luggage at the airport might come to 15 or 20 kgs, then you get an idea of the kind of quantity this represents!
Sure enough, the clothes were transported to our centre a few days later & so now our terrace is covered in clothes, as well as boxes of books. The bales are completely unsorted & contain a bit of everything, so our first job has been to sort things out into extra large/large/medium/small for male/female/children; a huge job but well worth the investment of time as it makes distributions much more successful & effective by making sure we’re giving the right clothes to the right people!
Around the time of receiving all these clothes, we heard of a nearby Fijian village house burning down & the family losing a lot of their possessions: they became the first beneficiaries of the donated clothes, but there will be many more in the coming weeks…..