Susan Janetti (left)

To Zimbabwe, with love from White Rock

Shipping container full of much-needed goods to go to African country

An international buzz filled White Rock Baptist Church last month.

It wasn’t in music echoing through the halls – there wasn’t any.

And it wasn’t in the sandwiches served during a much-needed – and well-deserved – lunch break.

But the buzz was distinctly there, nonetheless, evident in the determined efforts of those who turned out to organize donated goods destined to improve the lives of widows and orphans in Zimbabwe.

“There’s nothing here that’s not going to make a difference,” said Susan Janetti, surveying books, clothing, toys, medical and school supplies, tools and more that have been collected over the past two months and stored at the church in ever-growing stacks.

Janetti is a South Surrey resident who founded the non-profit Zimbabwe Gecko Society with her husband Frank in 2008, in response to the “horrendous circumstances facing orphaned children in Zimbabwe.”

In the years since, the society has become a registered Canadian charity, with projects aimed at helping widows and single mothers become self-sufficient.

The goods being organized last week began the long journey to Zimbabwe on Aug. 30. They are being shipped in a 40-foot container – the cost fundraised by members of the Nanoose Evangelical Church – and are expected to arrive at their destination in mid-January.

Janetti said the generosity of those who contributed to the effort – through donating, time, items or cash – is heartwarming.

“One lady has done over 300 loads of laundry,” she said. “Some people have been here… five or six days a week, just sorting and packing.”

Those helping out want the recipients in Zimbabwe to “feel Canadians’ love,” she said.

Retired teacher Harry Block said he was amazed by what people were willing to do and give once they knew what the project was about and who it would benefit.

In addition to the time he spent helping organize the goods for shipment, Block added 14 boxes of school supplies that he’d had in storage since retiring in 2002 to the cache, along with tools that had belonged to his father-in-law.

“It was a good time to get involved,” he said. “It’s just been sitting waiting for a project.”

Once unloaded in Zimbabwe, the shipping container will be converted into a resource library. Any donated items deemed unsuitable – for example, snow pants – will be sold and the funds used to purchase other necessities, Janetti said.

With the container on its way, efforts to help have anything but eased off, as society members ready for their annual fundraising dinner.

Set for Oct. 19, it will be held at the White Rock Baptist Church, 1657 140 St., and include dinner (with gluten-free options), a silent auction and door prizes.

Tickets, $35, are available by calling 604-531-3654 or emailing zimbabwegecko@gmail.com. They are also available in the church gym on Sundays.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP recover $80,000 worth of stolen property

Police found the property after executing two search warrants in Newton

White Rock approves scaled-up Festival of Lights for 2020

Event to run for nearly 60 days, and expand from the white rock to Oxford Street

White Rock to encourage Uber, Lyft to operate in city

South Surrey and White Rock are without ride-hailing services, for now

Annual Battle of the Badges hockey game to combat bullying in Delta schools

This year’s Battle of the Badges takes place at Sungod Arena on Pink Shirt Day (Wednesday, Feb. 26)

Trains through White Rock, Surrey could be affected by rail blockades

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

VIDEO: Giants win 10th straight on home ice in Langley

Family Day was about spending time with the fans and dazzling them with a 3-2 victory over Seattle

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Most Read

l -->