David and Christine Campy are driving from Seamer, near Stokesley, to Milan to help distribute donations from local people.
Their trip was inspired after reading emails from former Stokesley Circuit Methodist Minister, the Rev Daniel Pratt Morris-Chapman, who relocated to Milan in August after spending a year working in North Yorkshire.
Part of his remit is to work with refugees in the area who are waiting to be repatriated to other areas of the European Union or back to their original country.
As a result, David and wife Christine, along with other members of their church, began collecting many day-to-day essentials needed by the refugees, such as soap, socks, underwear, toothpaste and gloves to place into shoeboxes which will be distributed.
“A lot of people from Syria cross over to Italy and head up North and get turned back at the Swiss border with the EU, so a lot of them collect in the area of Milan,” said David.
“A lot of them are just living on the streets. The church has been handing out breakfast to them.
“Having had a few emails from him, it was clear life was tough, so we felt we should help in some way. The Stokesley Methodist Church Circuit thought we could do something to help and the shoebox idea came up.”
David said they were particularly compelled to visit their former minister and his wife Grace after hearing him describe how as he handed out cups of tea a man with two pushchairs approached him and three tired children emerged from beneath the blankets.
As well as transporting the shoeboxes for free, the couple hope to help serve breakfasts while out there and have also set up a JustGiving page to purchase more items in Milan, which can be found at; https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Christine-campy
Anyone wishing to donate any more items for the shoeboxes can leave them at the Methodist churches in Stokesley and Hutton Rudby or the Community Care building at Town Close, Stokesley.
Image and story courtesy of the Darlington and Stockton Times