Messiah News

Endowment Committee Dispersal Story – Coats for Afghan Refugees

We have all seen stories on the TV of the refugees fleeing Ukraine with only the clothes on their backs. Many of the refugees from Afghanistan that have recently come to Vancouver were in the same situation. When they left, it wasn't winter. They arrived here with only a minimum of clothing and generally, with no coats at all. But the Lord had a plan when Lynne and Dave Radke got involved with helping them.

Dave was assisting several young men with their applications for the Department of Social and Health Services' benefits (food and some cash). Since Dave had worked for that department for many years, he was particularly helpful in getting the refugees set up with the system. He quickly discovered that the men needed clothing. He took some to the Friends of the Carpenter where they have a room with free clothing. There, they could find shoes and socks, underwear, shirts and slacks, but there were no coats for men.

Luckily, Lynne had a close contact with Columbia Sportswear. Her friend, though retired from Columbia, had Lynne on her special list of "Friends and Family" who could receive huge discounts on the company clothing. Lynne and David went to an outlet store and using the discounts (that can range up to 80% of the original cost) were able to purchase 13 coats. These coats were insulated, water resistant, winter coats. They brought the coats to the hotel where the refugees are staying and turned them over to the case managers for distribution on "as needed" basis. The Endowment Committee reimbursed them the $525 the coats had cost. The coats were greatly appreciated!

Lynne and Dave also head up the Food on the Fourth ministry at Messiah. February's food was designated to go to the same hotel for the refugees. Specific food items were requested and these were passed on to the case managers. In total, 525 pounds of food were collected and taken to them!

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