Volunteer Spotlight: The Car

Getting my daily fill of distribution items. Photo by Shannon Ashton

Getting my daily fill of distribution items. Photo by Shannon Ashton

Just chilling at ENA Cash & Carry after buying flour and sugar.

Just chilling at ENA Cash & Carry after buying flour and sugar.

Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is The Car, or sometimes The Yellow Car. I’m a 12 year-old Nissan from Athens. My life’s goal is to survive another few years without too many mechanical failures!

What is your position at LHI in Serres, Greece? 
I am the main mode of transportation for a team of 20-30 coordinators, volunteers, and occasional visitors. I perform several runs of diapers, pieces of clothing, cucumbers, cans of tomatoes, people, pairs of shoes, and so many more things throughout the week, all of which is made possibly by your generous donations. My position is 100% critical. I would love for a van to join my ranks.

How and why did you get involved with LHI?
My previous owner Lamprini is a Athens-based journalist who drove Hayley, the founder of LHI, and an American journalist around Athens and other refugee camps during a reporting gig back in June of 2016. Once Lamprini decided to retire, she indefinitely lent me to her team. I miss Lamprini. She’s an amazing human, and she had a good taste in music. The millennials on the LHI team don’t own any CDs, so it gets a little boring.

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What is/was a typical day of volunteering at LHI's Refugee Center like for you?
I drive to the warehouse at 9:30 or 10:00, take a load of vegetables, dry food, diapers, or other distributions to the camp. Sometimes I drive an hour to Thessaloniki to pick up aid from the Help Refugees or IHA warehouses. I do a sneak a few trips to a gyro stand for chicken souvlaki every once in a while. Can’t drive on empty, you know?

What has been/was your most rewarding experience working at LHI’s refugee center in Greece?
It gives me a thrill to hear “Where’s the car,” because it means I’m about to do something important and meaningful, like deliver distributions. I’ve gotten used to hearing, “Where are the keys?” Haha. I’ve also learned a lot of French, German, Italian, English, Aussie, Kurmanji, Arabic, and Swedish phrases with all the different drivers over 2.5 years. 

What have you learned while volunteering with LHI in Serres? 
Self-care is critical! That means regular oil changes, tire rotations, and break pads. I’ve also learned how to appreciate the little things, like zip ties, duct tape, and air fresheners that smell like cologne. Like a volunteer can only go so long before taking much needed breaks, my suspension system will suffer after transporting too many heavy loads. 

Want to help fund a badly-needed van? Email us at info@liftinghandsinternational.org.