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  Nr. 35 - March 2001
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S.W.O.P. Update

by Sigi Kindt, March 2001
We only had room for a brief note last month about SWOP’s (Social Welfare Organisation of Paros) clothes giveaway held last November at the Archilochos Hall in Paroikia, so here is the detailed report.

Well - it was wonderful! There were about twice the number of people helping and attending the event, compared to our last giveaway and, once again, we had a large number of people waiting eagerly outside the door more than half-an-hour before we opened. The tables were piled high with clothes and other items and, although we were open from 12-2pm, almost everything was gone in the first hour. From the mountain of clothes collected only a few extremely worn items remained and these were packed up and given to PAWS to be used as rags to line carriers, clean, etc, so absolutely nothing went to waste. And, of course, we had the immense satisfaction of knowing that a real need had been fulfiled. An extra bonus was the prevailing cheerful atmosphere both among helpers and those who attended. People seemed thrilled with the things they were finding and we were thrilled at their response.

It was like Christmas! Children packed their bags with toys and other treasures and shared their finds with their friends. Laughter and music filled the hall and we were all touched by the many expressions of gratitude we received.

We want to thank the committee of the Archilochos for giving us use of the hall and in particular Chrisavgi Kanellopoulou for her advice and support. Also, some of our local businesses were generous in donating paper for flyers (Mr Kalakounas at Polychromo) and printing (Santorineos Travel Services). Thank you too to Len Rooks for setting up and helping design the flyers and to other friends for translating the material into Greek, Albanian, Romanian and Bulgarian. Thanks also to Kirsten Kypraiou and Kristel Hennauer for hangers and clothes racks, which made a big difference in displaying the clothes, and to the members of the International Women’s Group for helping to transfer the items, clean, set up, etc. And of course a huge thanks to those of you who were thoughtful and generous enough to donate your goods.

We hope to hold our next giveaway after the summer, so we’ll be collecting items from now. If you have any clothes, household items (especially electric appliances), toys, etc that you don’t need or want, please don’t throw them away. Contact me on 23775 for the Paroikia-Naoussa-Aliki areas, or Mary on 43397 for the Logaras-Drios-Marpissa areas.

The clothes giveaway is just one of the goals of SWOP and shows how, working together, we can accomplish great things. SWOP was also involved in the set up of the Volunteer Team Project for the Health Centre and the PEGASUS Bartering System. A plan is currently underway to determine and fulfil the need for fundraising and distribution of food. Other future goals include providing transportation to those in need and visiting the elderly, infirm and isolated. We ask for your support in helping us to reach these goals.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please call me or Mary or leave a message at www.paroshome.com/swop. We urge you to get involved - remember that helping others can make you feel great!
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