Harpers Mill is on a humanitarian mission to help the refugees from Afghanistan coming into Fort Pickett.
What started as a simple ask for donations quickly turned into a massive humanitarian mission for residents Sean and Trish Timper. Knowing thousands of refugees would be heading to Fort Pickett, Sean decided to ask his neighbors in Harpers Mill for some donations. He was looking for necessities such as clothing, food, toiletries, and some things for the children who were set to arrive over the weekend. What he and his wife did not expect was the outpouring of generosity of their neighbors.
The plan was to get a trailer and fill it with donations over the weekend and take to Fort Pickett on Monday. By Saturday afternoon, that plan had to change. They had already filled the trailer and their Ford Expedition XL to the brim and decided to take the first load down that day. As more and more donations poured in, the Timpers enlisted the help of other neighbors to sort and pack items and by that evening, the trailer and Expedition was once again packed.
Sunday morning started off with another trip to drop off donations to Fort Pickett, but this time the refugees were there. They were immediately able to use the donations, which up to this point, had only come from Harpers Mill.
So many donations came in over the weekend, that they had to recruit more vehicles and volunteers. By Sunday evening, 3 full trailers, 3 full Expeditions, 2 full mini vans, and 3 full pick up trucks of donations were delivered to the refugees at Fort Pickett…..and still more donations poured in.
Monday began a whole new adventure for Sean. Upon arriving to Fort Pickett, he took on a distribution role. He was able to coordinate the distribution of the donations to as many refugees as he could that day. Thousands of refugees had already arrived to Fort Pickett, and the number was going to continue to grow, so Sean knew there had to be a better system to organize things. Once again, enlisting the help of neighbors, delivered clothing and items to the clubhouse at Harpers Mill to be sorted even more.
A call to action was sent out Monday evening, and once again, the neighbors of Harpers Mill stepped up. Tuesday morning, over 30 residents came into the clubhouse and sorted clothing by size, organizing bags of matching outfits for the kids, sorting through shoes, toiletries, and toys, and even dividing up laundry detergent into single use servings. By the afternoon, another trailer full of well organized items was off to Fort Pickett.
Sean and Trish Timper are hopeful another Non Government Organization can step in and take over distribution and more organizations like the Red Cross will step in to help soon. But until then, they are there and ready to serve! With the help of many neighbors in Harpers Mill, they were able to provide some relief for the people who are laying their heads down in a new country this week.