NeedsList Launches Winterization Campaign for Refugees Stranded on Lesvos, Greece

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The humanitarian aid tech startup is coordinating efforts with local partners to bring urgently needed winter supplies to the island.

Nine organizations in the United States and Europe are launching a campaign to bring life-saving winter gear and supplies to the island of Lesvos, Greece, where over 8000 refugees are living in increasingly overcrowded conditions, without access to shelter or proper clothing.

The campaign is being led by trans-Atlantic humanitarian aid startup, NeedsList, which helps vetted charities in Europe and the United States create web-based lists of items and services they need to serve refugees. Individuals and companies can purchase supplies or sponsor lists of needs from local businesses through the platform. The process reduces shipping costs and time, getting help to refugees where they need it, fast. Joining NeedsList in the campaign are humanitarian innovation organizations Humans on the Move, IPA | Switxboard, and Beyond CSR.

“This is the third year in a row that refugees have, quite literally, been left out in the cold. With no long-term solution in place, we need to make sure that basics such as sleeping bags and jackets are available as temperatures drop, new boats keep arriving, and governmental institutions negotiate how best to provide adequate shelter,” says NeedsList CEO Natasha Freidus.

“The situation is very difficult, very critical on Lesvos,” says Qays Hassad of Jafra Foundation in Greece. “The biggest challenge is the number of people who are arriving--a lot of children are arriving, and a lot of them need care not only in terms of the items, but also psychosocial support.”

The campaign is timed to coincide with Giving Tuesday and the holiday season. Individuals can purchase sleeping bags, jackets, socks, and other winter gear on the NeedsList website, which sources supplies from local Greek suppliers. Five organizations working on Lesvos will be distributing the supplies to refugees, including Jafra Foundation, The Hope Project, A Drop in the Ocean, Refugee4Refugees and the Schoolbox Project.

“We are proud to partner on this initiative which will provide much needed direct support to refugees in Lesvos,” says Killian Kleinschmidt, Chairman of the humanitarian innovation agency IPA | Switxboard. “NeedsList fills a core gap in humanitarian relief by enabling individuals to provide direct one to one support for critical needs.”

The campaign runs through the month of November.

About NeedsList

NeedsList is a global marketplace where companies, individual donors, suppliers and nonprofits can meet the urgent needs of refugees. NeedsList is a Public Benefit Corporation in the state of Delaware

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Tasha Freidus
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