News - October 6, 2015

Welcome Stores for refugees

Roelof Kleis

Following the other cities also the Red Cross in Wageningen is now opening a Welcome Store. Wageningen UR made a building on the Industrieweg 34 available.

The Welcome Stores of the Red Cross are meant as collection points, where people can donate things for the refugees. Wageningen is the fifteenth location where the Red Cross is opening such a shop. The shop is located in one of the university warehouses on the Industrieweg in the Nude. The ‘shop’ will be opened on Wednesday. Items can be donated twice a week: on Wednesday from 10.00-12.00 and on Monday evening from 19.00 – 21.00.

According to Christian de Kleijn, from the department Renkum-Wageningen of the Red Cross, there is currently a need for men’s clothing. ‘At this moment 90 percent of the residents of the asylum centre are young men.’ However, this could change within a week. On average the refugees only spend a few weeks in the asylum centre on the provincial road between Bennekom en Renkum. ‘This week the inflow is relatively low.’

Refugees usually have nothing. They arrive in their flipflops.
Christian de Kleijn

More specifically, according to De Kleijn they need shoes (size 38-42), trousers (S-L), underwear, winter jackets and warm sweaters in all sizes. Also flat women’s shoes are welcome, clothes hangers and storage items. ‘Refugees usually have nothing. They arrive in their flip-flops. ’On the site the Red Cross keeps track of what items are needed, on a daily basis. Donated clothes that are not directly needed in the asylum centres are given to the Kledingbank or Leger des Heils.

The Welcome Store in Wageningen was setup in collaboration with the Red Cross, the local Student desk Red Cross, the municipality, Wageningen UR, the COA, the local Kledingbank, the Leger des Heils and Sympany. According to De Kleijn people bring their items to diverse agencies. This store needs to streamline this generosity. For the time being the store will be open twice a week, but this can change.

De Kleijn: ‘We are currently recruiting more volunteers and a store manager. It all went very quickly. ‘If anyone wants to lend a hand you can sign up at www.ready2help.nlor at the hotline for volunteers in Wageningen.