On Saturday I brought some warm clothes to Dumfries and Galloway Refugee Action collection hub at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Dumfries. I then stayed behind to document an overwhelming compassionate response to the humanitarian crisis, local community efforts and positive atmosphere at the drop off point.
The region wide Dumfries and Galloway Refugee Action was called just a few days prior and concentrated around the Facebook group, initially called just Massive Outpouring of Love, that was started by Moxie DePaulitte, the Herold of the Stove artist network. Over two thousand locals joined this group immediately. Some opened their facilities to print posters, others came up with logistics, drop off locations and sorting. later the local council stepped in and assisted with centralised depots, vacuum packing and transport, but the initial force propelling Dumfries and Galloway Refugee Action and touching the hearts of all those involved was grass root, unfolding under my very eyes.
Hundreds of compassionate Doonhamers turned up with donations, bringing blankets, sleeping bags, warm clothes, nappies, toiletries and other necessities that can help to elevate the life of the refugees stranded in Calais camp. Candle lamps, outdoor barbecue sheets, pots and pans, bags of onions, vegetable oil – people thought of everything!
Determined volunteer sorters spent hours to categorise and pack donated goods ready for transportation. The local pizzeria, Dante’s, sent piles of pizza and chips for all the volunteers free of charge. Kids wrote notes of love and support and drew hearts to add to the food boxes to express solidarity with those in need. Indeed, it was a Massive Outpouring of Love there.