Potomac resident Debra Lang and nonprofit KindWorks performed a long-distance act of kindness this month, taking donations from Montgomery County to refugees in need along the Texas-Mexico border.
“We worked in three Texas towns, Laredo, McAllen and Brownsville,” Lang, executive director of KindWorks, said. “Our project was really to deliver to the centers.”
As with many acts of kindness, the idea to help people in centers along the border started with one person, was picked up by another and grew from there.
“It started with Margaret Diamond, [of Rockville], she has a huge heart and knew she had to find a way to help.” Lang said. “She mentioned it to Jordana Carmel of Kensington who started collecting supplies.”
Workers at the Montgomery County Volunteer Center suggested the two women connect with a nonprofit and suggested KindWorks.
“It was our nonprofit and their idea, we wanted to help them make it huge,” Lang said.
There were 15 collection sites, some at churches or hospitals, some even at private homes in the county, with a few in D.C. and Virginia, Lang said.
Altogether the group collected enough essentials such as diapers, wipes, onesies, underwear, socks, soap, hairbrushes, toothpaste and toothbrushes, to fill a 16-foot truck.
“During five days in early August we drove down, visited various bus terminals, Catholic Charities respite centers and a US detention center and worked with local support groups to distribute those supplies, wherever possible and as needed.”
“We are incredibly inspired by the tremendous group effort to support “others” who are so very far outside of our daily lives, and the expressed desire to let ‘them’ know how much we care about how they are living and how they are doing,” reads a posting of KindWorks’ website.
The groups worked with the Angry Tias and Abuelas (www.facebook.com/angrytiasandabuelas/) and Catholic Charities to get the donations where they were most needed.
“They were our eyes and ears on the ground,” Lang said. We are not interested in [politics], we saw a need and filled the need.”
KindWorks has several ongoing projects locally that volunteers can sign up for, on a one-time or longer basis.
The group is also sponsoring an Inspiration Day Sept. 22 at the River Falls Club House, 7915 Horseshoe Lane, Potomac.
KindWorks Inspiration Day, Sunday, Sept 22, 1-3 p.m. You may think that you have little in common with refugees, the formerly incarcerated, or those experiencing homelessness. Think again. Join us for a revealing conversation with some "other" people in our community to find out just how similar we all are.
Information can be found on the website: www.dokindworks.org.
With more than 20 monthly service opportunities, KindWorkers support newly arriving refugees, serve meals and throw parties in shelters, clean up parks and neighborhoods, help homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals get back on their feet, cook recovered food together for the benefit of the food insecure, setup fully furnished and well-stocked homes for families having had to flee domestic violence, and dozens of other flexibly scheduled, selfless acts of support and kindness. We offer one-time projects and ongoing opportunities. See www.dokindworks.org/ and www.facebook.com/DoKindWorks/