For our 23rd experience we delivered the food collected and the Hygiene kits the gals and their friends had packed during their birthday parties.
The food was delivered to the local Salvation Army Service Center. We dropped off the food and were given a quick tour of the food pantry and the kitchen area where food bags are packed to be distributed to those in need. Volunteers pack the donated non-perishable food into grocery bags where they will later be supplemented with frozen meats. These bags are given to local families who come to the service center requesting assistance.
Following our drop off of the food donations at the service center, we made our way to the Church of the Brethren: Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md to deliver the Hygiene kits. After unloading our kits, we were given a tour of the warehouse where we learned:
- The warehouse is the distribution center for multiple clients shipping donated items to places all over the world. These clients include
- The donations can arrive via truck or train and are unloaded by the warehouse staff, sorted, repackaged and forwarded to destinations that have requested assistance.
- The donations include disaster recovery supplies, books and training materials, medicine, medical supplies, hospital furniture, vehicles and clothing.
- We learned that when blankets are donated they are compressed using a compressor machine that creates an approximately 100 lb. bundle of 30-40 blankets that take up about 1/3 of the space that would normally be taken by uncompressed blankets.
- We saw a shipment of about 12,000 blankets that are ready to ship and will soon be on their way to Tanzania. These blankets will be loaded into a container that will be transported to the shipping terminal. At the shipping terminal they will be placed on a container ship to be transported overseas.
- We saw 2 Basic Utility Vehicles (BUV’s) that will soon be on their way to the Congo where the low quality of the road system makes these vehicles very helpful for transporting goods.
This was an enlightening experience where the girls heard about how their donated items make their way from their home into the homes of others around the world. Loretta gave us a fantastic tour, patiently answering the girls’ questions about where the donations come from and where and how they are transferred to their destinations. We hadn’t requested a tour in advance which made us appreciate Loretta’s patient and comprehensive tour all the more.