More Than 15,000 Backpacks and Strollers Delivered to Child Refugees
As the global refugee crisis continues, FedEx team members in the Netherlands have continued to collect needed supplies for children who have been affected by the war. What started as donations of backpacks filled with toys has now expanded to include baby strollers – something many refugee parents have gone without. Working with the non-profit organization Bag to the Future, FedEx has now gathered more than 15,000 backpacks and 200 strollers.
When they saw television footage of child refugees escaping war in Syria and arriving in Europe with only the clothes they were wearing, FedEx team members in the Netherlands felt compelled to act. Working alongside ‘Bag to the Future’, a local non-profit initiative designed to help child refugees, seemed like the perfect opportunity to do something to help, and the FedEx team jumped at the chance to get involved.
Bag to the Future’s charitable mission is simple, yet effective—work with organizations to fill backpacks with toys and other items that might help a terrified, traumatized child feel at home on a new continent. And FedEx team members in the Netherlands did just that, donating over 350 backpacks.
“Children should play with their friends in their own environment, so if we can help to make life just a little bit better for them, with a small bag of toys and drawings, we are very happy to help them” said Joost van Hapert.
But the involvement went beyond filling the backpacks. Armed with logistics expertise, the FedEx team also offered advice on transporting large volumes of donated backpacks to the aid organizations that would distribute them, and practical support, from supplying pallets to completing the necessary paperwork to get the backpacks across country borders
The FedEx team not only pitched in to load two shipping containers with 14,000 donated backpacks and arrange shipment by sea to Greece, but also transported 2,000 additional backpacks to the Red Cross in the Netherlands by road.
Lisa van Nievelt from Bag to the Future tells of the impact the donation has made to child refugees “Last week we distributed 5,300 of the donated backpacks on Lesbos and the gratitude of the children and their parents is indescribable. The toys, backpacks and lovely notes and drawings have already made thousands of children in an extremely sad situation smile.”