The Paxton Van Lines drivers delivered 9 trailers with more than 4,900 boxesto DAMCO, a distribution service owned and operated by Maersk Lines, who donated their container service to Turkey. In total, 14 containers with a little over 144,000 pounds of blankets and clothing items were donated. The summation of donations for 2015 totaled 104,000 pounds higher than the previous year. The original project started in the fall of 2013 over a three week period when 29,000 pounds of blankets were collected and sent to Turkey for distribution. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
In 2015 the drive was expanded to 13 states and the District of Columbia, nearly tripling the donated materials from the previous year. A recent article in the Loudon Times-Mirror cited, “if the boxes containing the goods were stacked on top of each other they would exceed 1 mile in height - the equivalent of more than 16 Statues of Liberty stacked on top of each other.
"The drive has been a true community effort from the beginning with local governments, civic organizations, the faith community, and many others helping to make it a success. We are particularly grateful to Paxton and Maersk both who have donated their services for this project,” said Robert Lazaro of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC). When Robert returned to Adana, Turkey in 2014, he met a Syrian English teacher, who like many of his colleagues, was forced to flee his country. The teacher wrote, “Thank you very much to the reverend and generous American people. The Syrian refugees are really in need of this kind of support. I have seen the wonderful impact of the former shipment. Many thanks again from Syrian children to all Americans.”