03:36PM, Sunday 10 May 2015
A long-time Old Windsor resident who set up a drop-off point for people across the Royal Borough to donate gifts to the Nepal earthquake victims says the response has been beyond her ‘wildest dreams’.
Hundreds of people turned up to the Old Windsor Memorial Hall, in Straight Road, to donate gifts including tents and blankets after 50-year-old LaDawn Clare-Panton put out a call for help on social media.
Following the deadly earthquake in Nepal on Saturday, April 25, LaDawn contacted a range of organisations asking how she could help.
But after she was told by charities that any gift donations would be sold for cash aid, as opposed to being shipped out to the Nepal earthquake victims, LaDawn and her close friend Sarah Wants decided to set up their own donation point.
“I was so disgusted with the charities. Old Windsor is quite a mixed community.
“If you don’t have the money to give away it can make you feel really guilty and bad that you’re not doing anything to help,” she said.
While scouring social media, LaDawn saw a tweet saying Skills and Care, a Nepalese social enterprise organisation, and Greenwich Council were accepting donations for earthquake victims at Eltham Leisure Centre and Woolwich Town Hall.
So after putting the message out on Twitter and the We Love Old Windsor Facebook group, she invited Royal Borough residents to drop off items at Old Windsor Memorial Hall on Wednesday, April 29, and Thursday, April 30.
Several bags of essential items were donated on the first day but LaDawn said she was amazed as people queued to drop off their donations the following evening.
“It was the most remarkable thing.
“At 5pm (on Thursday) all of these cars started showing up and they were full to the roof.
“It was chock-a-block, people were practically falling over themselves to donate,” she said.
A truck from Frontline Logistics helped transport the hundreds of Nepal-bound donations to London free of charge the following day.
Go to https://skillsandcare.nationbuilder.com/donate to donate to the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund.
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