Winter Clothing Distribution Project
|This program was completed in 2009. FIRE is no longer accepting donations of used clothing.
Over 11 years, FIRE completed seven, two-week clothing distribution trips and shipped 10, 40-foot containers. 46 volunteers handed 76 tons of winter clothing directly into the hands of 65,000 Mongolians. We have been moved, beyond words, by the opportunity to assist thousands of people literally on their doorsteps. We cannot thank you enough for the continued support and donations that sustained this project for 11 years.
While FIRE no longer collects or distributes used winter clothing in Mongolia, we do still accept and distribute hand made knitted items through the Dulaan Project. Please visit the Dulaan Project page for more information.
In 2008, FIRE made the difficult decision to end the collection and distribution of used winter clothing to focus on more sustainable and empowering forms of assistance for the people of Mongolia. The logistics and expenses associated with the clothing project made it unrealistic to maintain.
In October, 2009 the final six clothing volunteers spent two weeks in the “ger districts” of Ulaanbaatar. These sprawling “ger districts” have no running water or electricity and surround the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. FIRE volunteers primarily distributed in Bayanzurkh, the largest and poorest district in Mongolia, on the edge of Ulaanbaatar.
Each morning a van was loaded with boxes, a translator, volunteers, a driver and a social worker. The social worker would lead us directly to the doors of the families in the most need. We would pull out a few age appropriate boxes at each home and find clothing that would fit that particular family, leaving about a box worth’s of clothing with them. Then we would load the boxes back in to the van and drive to the next family’s home. Additionally we also went to several orphanages, nursing homes, a soup kitchen and few other wonderful organizations.
Executive Director, Meredith Potts recounts, “In 2009, the very last family we distributed to at the last location, on the last day, of the last clothing trip – was a homeless single mother and her two children. The next day, by ironic coincidence, I walked out of my lodging to see them living in the building stairwell, more than 10 kilometers distance from the soup kitchen where we had given them clothes. They were dressed head to toe in the coats, sweaters and hats we had given them the day before, including one of 900 donated Sun Valley Idaho Ski Resort Jackets. They recognized me immediately and expressed their gratitude all over again. This touching experience reinforced to me, once again, the great difference all the people of FIRE have helped make in Mongolia for more than a decade. So many people had joined together to bring this sweater to this little boy. It was a very rewarding conclusion to a very wonderful project.”
We would like to thank Oyun Sanjaasuren and the Zorig Foundation for their amazing support from the very beginning. This project never would have been possible without you! Please keep up your wonderful work!
We would also like to thank: Petrovis, Zorig ALTAI, Boojum Expeditions, Eddie Bauer, Flagstaff Middle School Life Skills Class, Hunts Building Supply, Armour Storage, FALA, Mailboxes Plus, Coconino Mini Storage, Horizon Moving Systems, Adventure Discovery Advance House, Patagonia, Flagstaff Goodwill, Cedar Closet, Hodge Podge, Buffalo Exchange, PAW Prints, Twice Nice, Channel 2, KNAU, Daily Sun, Flagstaff Printing Company, Flag LIVE!, Karen Duffy, Anne Walton, Patrick Yowell, Dianne Hasenbank, Thomas Mathias, Peg Swift, Ryan Strong, Suzanne Motsinger, Ken Reid, Erika Andersson, Ben Zack, Tom Motsinger, Nikita Purcell, JD Gertz, Renee Dufresne, Wendy Jorgenson, Laurie Whitlock, Susie Wright, Mary Gavan, David Piearcy, Nick Simpson, Jason Hasenbank, Kate Thompson, Roberta Motter, LuAnn Roberts, Doug Arnett, Joni Haug, Carol Haden, Flannery Clark, Emory Edwards, Robyn Flynn, Penelope Wong, Anne Baker, Sandra Brimm, Deborah Tuck, Ryan Morrissey, Konchog Norbu and so many, many more.