A KIND-HEARTED woman who was touched by the plight of underprivileged children in Romania has sent them more than 50 tonnes of aid thanks to support from the Wrexham-based distribution firm she works for.
Jayne Griffiths, who is part of the sales team at McCarthy Distribution, says she “cried for a week” when friends working as pastors in a Romanian church showed her a photograph of two children living in terrible conditions.
From that moment she decided to make it her mission to help disadvantaged families in Romania, and seven years on her initiative ‘Love on a Pallet’ has shipped a whopping 108 pallets containing 55 tonnes of donated items such as food, clothes, bedding, toys and equipment.
McCarthy Distribution, based on Wrexham Industrial Estate, has supported Jayne’s efforts by driving the aid down to Essex, free of charge, where it is collected by a Romanian haulage firm.
Jayne, who lives in Bala, said: “I saw this picture and I cried for a week. It really resonated with me. What hit me the most was the fact it was taken on Christmas Eve.
“Here you’re either out celebrating or at home with a house full of people. You’ve got presents under the tree and cupboards overflowing with food and yet here are these kids with nothing.
“I just knew I had to do something. I’ve worked in transport for 30 years. I know how to get things done and the rest has been down to generosity.
“McCarthy Distribution do the UK leg for us for free which takes 20 per cent of the overall cost away. It’s fantastic because we’d really struggle without that support.
“We also receive wonderful support from people and businesses in Bala. We have a team of ladies across North Wales who knit and crochet for us.
“Everyone does a little bit to make a lot happen.”
The work of Love on a Pallet has made a huge difference to the community it supports in Romania with the local church being able to set up a mums and tots group with donated toys.
Jayne, who has worked for McCarthy Distribution for ten years, said: “My friends Alex and Heather are pastors at a church in Romania and we send stuff over to them so it goes to the local village.
“The team at the church sort through the boxes we send or sometimes they have an open afternoon where people can come and choose what they need.
“If there is a family with a specific need like a new born baby then the church will put together a pack. We’ve sent out cots and Moses baskets in the past.
“They operate a library service system so people bring back items and they can be used by someone else. We like to get wellies and Crocs because the kids won’t wear them out and then they can be disinfected, cleaned and sent back out.”
Mike McCarthy, Managing Director of McCarthy Distribution, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve been able to play a part in helping Jayne to carry out her fantastic charitable efforts.
“Jayne is a loyal, hard-working member of staff and the success of Love on a Pallet is testament to her.
“It really is an admirable cause which makes a huge difference to the lives of so many disadvantaged families and we’re all incredibly proud of Jayne and what she’s achieved during the last seven years.”
Jayne says Love on a Pallet has grown so much it is also able to provide aid for disadvantaged families at home and in other countries across the globe.
She explained: “I also know a friend of a friend who is a pastor in a church in Hungary. It’s quite a well off area but they work with indigenous Hungarian gypsies.
“They take boxes out to them. They live under tarpaulin in the woods in some horrendous conditions.
“We also have input with the North Wales Refugee Support to provide clothes, shoes, bedding, dried and tinned food to either refugees now living here or those in Syria or transit across Europe.
“We send premature baby hats to Tanzania as someone in Bala goes out there to do voluntary work and we also provide specific items to Red Cross Liverpool when a real hardship case arises.”