Inspired by their daughter’s ongoing efforts to help Syrian refugees in Turkey, a Mountain Top couple decided they would do their part to provide aid too, and were eagerly assisted by members of the local Christ United Methodist Church.
Penny and Ken Powley recently set up a collection box at the church, hoping to gather coats, hats, scarves, gloves, shoes and clothing for the refugees. The Powleys will then ship those items directly to a refugee camp in Ankara, Turkey, where their daughter, Jessica Powley Hayden, volunteers.
“Jessica sees the Syrian refugee crisis first-hand,” related Penny. “She feels their anguish every day. They are normal families, all stuck in so-called camps, without even the basics of life.”
Jessica has lived in three foreign countries. Her five-year stay in Turkey began three years ago, when her husband took his post there, working for the state department. Her hands full with three children under the age of five, Jessica still found time to help the refugees, providing meals for them, all with her children by her side. She’s also organized fund drives in Turkey and the United States.
Penny described the people of Turkey as wonderful, having visited her daughter there four times. Strangers are warm and friendly, she said, and are inclusive of children with most restaurants having play areas for children. Jessica and her family have enjoyed living there, her mother added, and said on a recent visit, Jessica’s one-year-old, who doesn’t yet talk, knew one word –“Anne” or “Mother” in Turkish.
Of the refugees, Penny went on, “They’re good, decent people and