The Pallet Project
As reported in international statistics: those whose income does not cover their basic necessities are defined as living in poverty. Poverty is classified as earning less than 16 Egyptian pounds per day which is less than $1. Over a quarter of Egypt’s population of 90 million people are living under this poverty line.
The Pallet Project began in 1997. The idea behind it was to help our brothers and sisters in Egypt. The question was: How? – How to take from the blessings we experience in America and offer that to the underserved in Egypt – and that’s how the project began. The project now sends 6 to 7 containers to Egypt a year filled with approximately 120 tons of clothing and supplies. Beginning with the efforts of just one person, the Pallet Project has grown tremendously over the years with the generosity of the L.A. Diocese and the support of Santa Verena Charity under His Eminence Metropolitan Serapion.
The process of shipping a container to Egypt begins with you. You can collect the items around your home that you don’t use but would mean a great deal to those in need. After packing your excess clothing, shoes and supplies into bags, you can make arrangements with the servants of your church to coordinate a day to drop the items off at your church. Servants for the Pallet Project travel from church to church around the diocese collecting your donations and storing them in warehouses until they assemble enough items to send in a container. If you’d like to donate money to the project, your donations can be used to purchase discounted items from local auctions such as chairs, tables, furniture, refrigerators, hospital equipment, wheelchairs, walkers, sewing machines, children’s toys and senior supplies. Money is also needed to cover the cost of the shipments.
MAKING ONE PALLET
An electric compactor is used to pack the donated and purchased items into the container. To maximize space, this compactor can compress approximately 120 items, about 120 pounds into a pallet of 2 cubic feet. Each container can hold more than 400 pallets which adds up to about 20 tons of clothing and supplies. On average, the Pallet Project sends 6 to 7 containers a year, costing around $60,000- $70,000, but surprisingly, the cost of one container is only 5% of the total value that container offers.
Once a shipment reaches Egypt, it arrives at Port Said or Alexandria. From there the contents of the container are spread to all the regions in Egypt. Pallets have reached over 150 churches and 30 non-profit organizations of all religions and denominations.
THE PROCESS IN EGYPT
The churches receiving pallets create working opportunities for their community by paying those in need to open the pallets and separate the contents. The clothing in good condition is then washed, ironed, and put on hangers for a priest to deliver to the families living in poverty. Also to help low income families, the churches organize festivals to sell costly items at a low price. The funds from these festivals are then given to families living in poverty.
OUTREACH & GOALS
Currently, the Pallet Project serves around 120,000 people in Egypt a year. With your help and generosity, we can reach our goal to send one container to Egypt every month. This will provide clothing, shoes, furniture and supplies to a quarter of a million people in Egypt per year.