James is a GoodGym January 2021 Challenge Hero
Six of us met outside Zimbabwe House on The Strand to distribute various donated items from Get Rid of and Donate to rough sleepers.
We gathered outside the van, and started taking things out. First were all the coats and shoes, which proved popular and attracted a crowd. We then had to assemble some sort of queue for bag distribution, including rucksacks and suitcases containing clothes and toiletries. This was far more difficult than it sounds!
Once we'd cracked the bag distribution queue and had everyone moving through, we brought out some sleeping bags, pillows and tents to give away, and each of us began helping people get items on request, depending on what was left over.
With all the suitcases gone from the van and the crowds dispersing, we packed up the remaining coats, shoes, and other miscellaneous items into the van. Just before dispersing, we noticed some clothes had been taken out of the donated suitcases and left on the side of the pavement. So after a quick rescue mission to gather up any unwanted items and scooping them into the van, we all said our goodbyes and headed off!
We've spent the last couple of weeks sorting and packing bags of clothing, blankets and toiletries, most of which is stuff donated to Get Rid Of & Donate who we've done a bunch of cool things with in Lambeth.
Now is the time to distribute the bags!
The meeting spot is outside Zimbabwe House on The Strand at 7pm.
Please bring: 🤿 Mask 💦 Hand sanitiser 🧤 Gloves
And Andrea who will meet you has advised on minimising personal belongings.
Make sure you're paired up with someone and stick to the main streets. Andrea will give you a briefing when you arrive and of course don't do anything you don't feel comfortable doing.
Any questions, drop me (Mark) an email :)
Shrove Tuesday? Suitcase Tuesday more like, for eight goodgymmers in Lambeth. Andrea from Get Rid of It and Donate (GROAD) organised us, to organise bags full of donations, into piles of trousers, jumpers, gloves, hats and blankets.
James had the official role of suitcase sanitiser and presented a one person conveyor belt of efficiency. Emma first displayed skills at blanket rolling and was soon promoted to Head of the Womenswear department. Ian has helped GROAD a fair few times now, so knew the drill and bagged up an impressive number of rucksacks of warm outfits for our rough sleepers.
John certainly ran the furthest, visiting from Camden, to help weed out the donations that were frankly, a little more suitable for summer than a cold London winter. Stuart proudly hit the jackpot to find some NEW pairs of socks - the only kind that are suitable to add into the packs for people sleeping rough.
Tracey and Gillian got stuck in sorting tents, sleeping bags and found out lots of great info from Andrea about how the donations get to GROAD. Thank you local community drop offs! And see here for our mention in the GROAD website blog!! https://www.getridofit-donate.com/blog
We managed to fill 40 suitcases with essentials to hand out to rough sleepers. Here comes the roll call for volunteers to hand these out next week on the Strand - sign up if you’re keen!
Oh and Vix (myself) brought brownies. Cause they’re easier to individually wrap in a COVID friendly fashion, than pancakes are! A brownie-fied successful community mission all round. Thanks for having us Andrea!