The idea of working outside all day on a cold Saturday in February may not sound very appealing, especially when you are not being paid, but one group of area volunteers finds it very rewarding.

A team of Midcoast area helpers packed much-needed medical supplies, sanitary items and toys into a 40-foot shipping container at the Aldersgate United Methodist Church on Feb. 17. The supplies will be shipped to Syria where civil war has displaced millions and killed hundreds of thousands of people since 2011.

"The chance to help put together entire shipping containers of aid to Syria is undoubtedly one of the greatest and unexpected privileges of my lifetime," Alison McKellar of Camden said on Facebook. "Sitting inside that container today in the cold and imagining the ocean it will cross, all sealed up and protected until it reaches the other side of the world, brings chills and tears more often than you might imagine. Oh the possibilities and all the things that can go in a shipping container."

Penelope Ray of Rockport said she was inspired to get involved as she has become a new grandmother and she imagines what mothers in Syria must be going through. She donated diapers and feminine hygiene products to help.

Volunteers sorted the donated items that fill the church sanctuary much of the week, and McKellar praised the church and its members for being so helpful to the cause. The massive shipping containers used for the project were stationed in the church parking lot. Many of the volunteers worked outside in the cold for hours.

Among the items being shipped were hospital beds and children's bicycles. Local hospitals have donated medical supplies.

McKellar is a member of the board for NuDay Syria, the nonprofit organization out of New Hampshire that ships the relief items to those in need.

"You can always do more than you think you can," she said.

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