PLYMOUTH -- The Orphan Grain Trainâ€™s (OGT) New England Branch, located in Terryville, recently shipped a 40-foot container of clothing and medical items to the Republic of Georgia.
OGT, the Lutheran volunteer network that aids needy people at home and around the world, dedicated its New England branch in June, 2014. Itâ€™s housed in the old Eagle Lock factory warehouse at 33 South Main St., Terryville, which is owned by Bill Allread.
This was the branchâ€™s 17th shipment, according to Rev. Joel Kotila, pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Terryville. Nationally, OGT ships to over 65 countries and this was the organizationâ€™s first shipment to the Republic of Georgia. The New England Branch has made shipments to Puerto Rico, as well as Liberia, Nicaragua, the Ukraine, the Philippines, Lithuania, Latvia, Liberia, Nepal, and Ghana.
The Terryville branch also helps out locally, giving donated medical items to individuals in need and working through area visiting nurse and hospice care organizations, Kotila said. It has also helped with a shipment to the Bridgeport Rescue Mission.
The Republic of Georgia shipment contained more than 1,360 boxes of womenâ€™s, menâ€™s, childrenâ€™s, and infantâ€™s clothing, plus shoes, coats, scarves, hats, gloves, etc.; as well as blankets, quilts, linens, layette kits for babies, hygiene kits, and school kits. Also included were crutches, wheelchairs, bicycles, and toys.
The shipment had an estimated weight of over 18,000 pounds and a value in excess of $400,000, Kotila said. â€śVolunteers began loading the container for the Republic of Georgia at 2 p.m. on Feb. 23 and finished before 5 p.m. The full container was then delivered to a port for sea transport to the destination.â€ť
â€śAll items have been donated by individuals or organizations and all funds used to support these efforts are donated as well, as is the time of the volunteers,â€ť he said. â€śThere is a drop off box at the warehouse for donations, and anyone can come to the warehouse from 9 a.m. until noon on Mondays to help pack and sort.â€ť
The effort is an Outreach Ministry of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). OGT is a 501(3)(c) charity affiliated with the church and supported locally by Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Terryville and Immanuel Lutheran Church and School in Bristol. It is open to all who want to help others.
â€śIt is open to all who want to help others,â€ť Kotila said.
Based in Nebraska, OGT got started in the early 1990s when a Lutheran church mission tried to get donations of Midwestern grain sent to starving orphans in Eastern Europe. That first project proved impractical but soon OGT successfully sent clothing and quilts to Latvia and the organization took off from there.
Since then 26 regional locations have delivered more than 18 million meals and 2,858 shipments of humanitarian aid to needy people in various states and 66 countries on five continents.
For more information, call Holy Trinity Lutheran Church at 860-582-0723 or visit www.ogt.org .
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.