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they just need the simplest of things -food, warm clothing, shoes. It’s impossible to see them, face-to-face, and not feel an overwhelming need to do whatever you can to help.”

After Penny was given a coat that didn’t fit, she decided to give it to her daughter when she visited, to take back to a needy refugee. Then, she explained, she and her husband came up with the idea of starting a collection in Mountain Top. A friend who goes to Christ United Methodist Church suggested setting up the donation box there.

“We’ve scoured all our closets and emptied them of all the old shoes, coats, sweaters, boots, hats, and gloves,” said Penny. “Pastor JP Bohanan has generously offered the Christ United Methodist Church as a collection point for anyone who would like to donate clothing for the refugees. We and the pastor will make sure it all gets to Ankara, and directly into the hands of those in need.”

Pastor Bohanan was very receptive to using his church as a drop-off location for refugee aid. On a snowy Friday, he taped together a large box for the collection and told Penny, “I’m really, really glad you had the idea and that we could help.”

Penny encouraged anyone with extra clothing, especially children’s clothing, to drop off the items at the church. Many of those living in the refugee camps, she explained, have been there for years and their children have likely grown out of their clothing. There’s also a real need for shoes, she added.

“We’ve donated to charities before, but this is more personal,” concluded Ken Powley. “Here, you actually see the people who are benefitting. There’s no middle man, no administrative costs, no waste. Every single donated item will go to a family that’s in desperate, desperate need.”

Drop-off times are Monday through Friday, from 9 a. m. to 1 p. m., and Sunday from 8 a. m. to noon, at the Christ United Methodist Church, 175 South Main Road.

The deadline for donations is Feb. 14 and anyone with questions can email Penny, at,or Suzanne at the church, at