Greenwich Comes Together To Provide Aid for Syrian Refugees

A group of Greenwich families have banded together to collect emergency, life-saving Mylar blankets, winter coats and shoes to send to the refugees arriving in Macedonia. Working directly with the SOS Children’s Villages on the ground these items are most needed with winter fast approaching.

When contemplating this initiative Whitby School parent Kirsten MacDonald approached the school to ask if they would support this drive. It was an immediate yes, and donations of gently used winter clothing are piling up every day. “I’m so proud to be part of Whitby where community service is not only a catch phrase, but is truly acted upon.”

“These donations provide us all with an opportunity to not only reflect on how blessed we are but also to understand more about the harsh realities that people worldwide have to endure,” said Whitby Head of School Bryan Nixon. “As we look to support these people, who until recently led lives very similar to our own, we also need to utilize these perspectives and experiences to ensure our children, as future leaders, can grapple with such issues with humanity and true understanding.”

With the generous donation of a Whitby family, the group has arranged for a 40 foot container to be shipped from Greenwich directly to the SOS Children’s Villages in Macedonia.

“The number of refugees passing through the Balkans route is increasing daily; currently about 10,000 per day with numbers of children rising. The situation is very bad as the weather is getting colder and rainier. Any help will be immensely valuable and appreciated,” says Katerina Ilievska from the SOS Children’s Villages in Skopje, Macedonia.

The group is eager to fill every inch of the container and has reached out to friends and neighbors. “It has been overwhelming to experience the feedback we are getting and how the word is spreading,“ says Margaret Anker, another member of the group. “We are even receiving life saving Mylar blankets via Amazon from as far as Bahrain, Canada, and Denmark, so this initiative is definitely reaching across borders,” adds Anker.

Donations can be dropped off at the Old Greenwich & Riverside Community Center located at 90 Harding Road, Old Greenwich. The deadline for donations is Oct. 30.

For more information, contact: Margaret Anker,, 917-239-8386 Anne Ferguson,, 914-602-3611 Kirsten MacDonald,, 203-832-3008

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