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Citizens donate clothes anonymously through 'Wall of Kindness'

Initiative follows string of such campaigns carried out globally

By Camille Dupire - Nov 29,2017 - Last updated at Nov 29,2017

The 'Wall of Kindness' was first initiated in Iran in 2015 to help the homeless people of Mashhad(Photo courtesy of Landmark)

AMMAN — A “wall of kindness” recently popped up in front of the Landmark hotel in Jabal Amman, inviting generous souls to donate clothes for the most in need ahead of the winter season.

“We wanted to find a way for the less fortunate to receive warm winter clothes without feeling the need to ask anyone,” said Layla Al-Qasim, head of strategic engagement and sustainability projects at the Landmark.

Designed in the public and free of access area outside of the hotel, the “Wall of Kindness” was inaugurated last week, marking the first day of the rainy season.

“We wanted to see it launched when it first rained in Amman, so that people would feel the need for warm clothes and realise it can be a difficult time for those who do not have these items,” explained Mary Nazzal-Batayneh, the founder of the Landmark hotels who initiated the idea.

“People who want to donate clothes can come and deposit them on the hangers attached to the wall. They do it anonymously without anyone knowing. Then, our laundry team at the hotel picks up the clothes, cleans them, folds them, wraps them up and hangs them back so they are available for the recipients, just like brand new items,” Al-Qasim told The Jordan Times at the hotel.

Batayneh said that since they launched the project last week, clothes have been deposited daily, voicing hopes that the phenomenon will keep growing.

“It is not only this specific wall that is important, but the effect it will have, and the ideas it will keep inspiring people,” she continued, noting “we hope this wall will have a small but positive tangible impact on our local community”.

Communicating about the initiative on social media platforms, Al-Qasim stressed that “we also want to reach out to people who do not have access to Internet. We try to spread the word through the radio, word of mouth, newspapers, etc”.

She noted that “since this is aimed to help the less fortunate, we need to find accessible ways for them to learn about the initiative.”

Set up to let people donate and receive the items anonymously, the wall seeks to promote generosity and humanity, away from the media exposure surrounding some winter donation campaigns.

The “first project of its kind” in Amman, the Wall of Kindness was inspired by the first initiative launched in Iran to help the homeless people of Mashhad in 2015, according to Al Qasim.

The initiative has since spread to the cities of Karachi in Pakistan, Liuzhou in China, Rome, numerous cities in India, and many others, according to web sources.

“We encourage people to donate and to take what they need,” the hotel founder concluded.

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