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Volunteers overwhelmed by mountain of donations sent to Polish-Ukrainian border


Heaps of abandoned clothes deemed useless by volunteers unable to sort through them due to lack of time. (Charlie Hannerton via SWNS)

By Ed Cullinane via SWNS

These photos show huge mounds of clothing donated by well-meaning Europeans dumped and abandoned in a parking lot on the Polish-Ukrainian border.

Volunteer Charlie Hannerton, 27, took photos of the piles of clothing and bedding in the border town of Medyka, near Przemysl in Poland.

He claims the donations arrive by the truckload from all over Europe, but volunteers don't have time to sort through unlabelled and unsorted boxes.

Heaps of abandoned clothes deemed useless by volunteers unable to sort through them due to lack of time. (Charlie Hannerton via SWNS)
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Labelled and sorted boxes with required items - like sanitary napkins and diapers - are taken to a nearby warehouse and handed out to refugees, he said.

But jumbled up boxes of assorted clothing are dumped in a nearby parking lot - because staff haven't got the time to sort through it, he said.

Charlie, from Falmouth, England, said refugees are arriving on foot, and don't spend long enough at the border point to sort through clothes, and can only take what they can carry.

It comes after a number of humanitarian charities urged well-wishers to donate money to a reputable charity, rather than send miscellaneous donated items.

Charlie saw the boxes abandoned during his work in Medyka, Poland, on Wednesday and Thursday (March 9 and 10).

But he said other volunteers he met there reported similar mounds of dumped items at nearly every border crossing point.

He said: "The point I think I was trying to make with the pictures is that when the volunteers on the border say no clothes donations, they really mean no clothes.

"The refugees and volunteers on the border simply don't have enough time to give them to people.

Heaps of abandoned clothes deemed useless by volunteers unable to sort through them due to lack of time. (Charlie Hannerton via SWNS)

"When the refugees arrive, they're literally brought into the camp and then immediately put on a bus or ferried into Europe in a car.

"They just get slung on a bus, and there is barely any system.

"Volunteers just queue up, get a high vis vest on, and take whoever you can fit somewhere where they might have relatives or friends.

"I took four people to Berlin for example on my way home.

"You just turn up, get your details written down - often badly, and then they say to go and find people to take with you.

"Volunteers and refugees just don't have the time to sift through packages of clothes and say 'oh that's nice I'll take it with me to Spain' or wherever.

"They just sort of get on a coach and go.

"What they need is nappies, sanitary towels, blankets, really useful things that have a one time use - consumables I guess."

Charlie says more boxes containing clothes, buggies and bedding are abandoned in the car park each day.

He said heaps of donations now fill parking lots along the border.

(Charlie Hannerton via SWNS).

A specialist in supporting special needs and traumatized kids, Charlie says Ukrainian refugees need exhaustible, single-use items like sanitary napkins, diapers and blankets.

Charlie said the refugees currently arriving in Poland, Moldova, Slovakia and other border countries are "the lucky ones" who can afford to escape.

But even these people, who have money and cars, still have to walk across the border with only what they can carry.

He explained: "I've been in the refugee camps this week.

"I work with children in trauma in the UK so I took my outdoor setup to the refugee camps to do some outdoor education stuff with the children there.

"I found myself giving things on the border to the refugees crossing over.

"There are kids that literally walk for days.

"They might lose their families or might be orphans, they just walk to the border with no food and in whatever they are wearing."

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