'Ask and it happens' - St Albans steps up to help Afghan refugees
- Credit: IO2S
A locally-run appeal for donations to help Afghan refugees has proved a phenomenal success, as hundreds of St Albans residents came forward to help.
The initiative was run by mental health awareness charity It's OK To Say in conjunction with Westminster Lodge, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, EYES on St Albans, Sopwell Community Trust, Oaklands College, St Saviours Church, AKERS Removals and RPL Removals.
All week a team of volunteers have been sifting through suitcases, bags, and boxes of clothes, blankets, toiletries, toys, craft, baby goods and more, but the donations keep flooding in.
Charity founder Stacey Turner said: “I am so grateful to our wonderful community for their generosity. From the moment the mission went live on the Herts Ad website, help in many ways has flooded in.
"It's beautiful to see the community come together and help make this happen. I am blown away by the sheer power of humanity and care.
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"We’ve been working hard here to pull together trauma support information ready for translation while the donations keep pouring in. We realise that the government will only help with this if the voluntary sector can’t and that could take a while."
Christo Tofalli, landlord of Ye Olde Fighting Cocks said, “Ask St Albans and it happens. We filled the restaurant area in two days! It’s OK To Say is a charity I am raising money for on my bike ride to Scotland and this is a perfect reason to help and explain why I am doing it.”
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Stacey added: “You’re all amazing, I keep finding notes amongst the donations, so thank you! After such a terrible two years, this is community, this is salvation, this is tenacity, this is what it takes to help rebuild the lives of evacuees, but also to help bring people out to weave themselves back within society.”
A sorting afternoon to prepare the donations for distribution is taking place this Saturday, September 4, at St Saviour's Church in St Albans between 2-6pm. There will be a band, a children’s entertainer, food and more. If you can help sort please email firstname.lastname@example.org