Philippines Container

   November 2005

For two and a half months, our garage became a collecting depot for a container of goods that Mercy in Action would be sending out to the Philippines. In addition to secondhand clothes and basic household items, such as curtains and bedding, a shoebox appeal was also held to ensure that as many children as possible would get a giftbox this Christmas. Each shoebox contained some basic food staples, e.g. pasta and tinned fish, plus some small gifts and treats. Over 400 filled shoeboxes were donated for children from newborn babies up to teenagers, as well as some for adults and families.

By the time we'd finished collecting goods, almost every inch of our garage was packed from floor to ceiling. Every room of our house also ended up filled with boxes, as did a friend's house. We were overwhelmed by people's generosity - quite literally!

It was quite emotional to see the huge articulated lorry arrive in the close at 8:00 in the morning. At last, the big day was here. It was also more than scary watching the driver manoeuvre this large vehicle onto our driveway given how tight the turning space was. Here's the front of the truck parked across the bottom of the drive.

And here's the container and its trailer parked up against our garage door, ready to be filled. It's approximately 20m long x 8m wide x 8m high.

My eldest son, wearing a very fetching sun hat that was donated to the project, contemplates the size of the task. Will all the boxes, computers, bikes, beds and other items fit into the space? The answer is no. As the container fills we realise we are going to have to decide what to send and what to keep for another container.

The boxes you can see here are the ones that were designated as essential for this particular container. They are filled with giftboxes, school shoes that were donated to us by Clarks, and other items such as medicines for the clinic.

John and Phil shuffle boxes and bags inside the container. It's filling up fast.

Every inch was used. Here you can see the lorry driver helping to pass small bags of clothing, which were used to fill in the gaps between boxes. We were really blessed by this driver. It took five hours to fill the container, and he helped from the moment he arrived until the moment he set off for Southampton. What a star!

Bikes are the main form of transport in Ozamiz City. They are attached to sidecars and used as pedicabs. The average pedicab driver earns 3p per customer. Despite being hard, hot work, these jobs are in much demand.

Will it close?

All hands on deck. The doors refuse to close, but the men are determined that they aren't going to take anything out at this stage.

One, two, three... push!


Farewell! The container departs our house for Southampton. From there it will travel by ship to the Philippines.

And yes, there were some bikes left. And some shoes. And some boxes of clothes. And...

Hubby is plotting and scheming to send another container out in February. We shall see. Meanwhile we have taken delivery of a dozen computers and several bags of clothes. Oh well, who needs to put cars in garages anyway?


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