Old Skico uniforms headed for Kosovo | AspenTimes.com

Old Skico uniforms headed for Kosovo

The Aspen Skiing Co. is donating 5,000 of its old ski instructor and front-line employee winter uniforms to the people of war-torn Kosovo.

The winter jackets, sweaters, pants and assorted fleece pieces, all no more than four years old, will be shipped to country located in south-central Europe as part of a humanitarian effort spearheaded by the Skico’s environmental affairs department.

Shipment and distribution of the uniforms will be handled by Refugee Direct Aid (RDA), a Colorado nonprofit relief agency. Ben Mares, RDA’s founder, has made several trips to Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo in order to deliver aid supplies, and four years ago delivered 4,000 of Skico’s old winter uniforms to Bosnians. On a recent trip to Kosovo, Mares brought some sample uniforms, which were very well received by Kosovars.

“We can’t think of a better purpose for these solid, cold weather clothes,” said Auden Schendler, Skico environmental affairs coordinator. “The people of Kosovo are profoundly needy because they were refugees and have now returned home, with almost nothing, to bombed villages.”

In a letter to Schendler, Thomas Jeanes, a community service officer for the International Police Task Force in Kosovo, wrote: “Several of the relief agencies are helping rebuild homes, but many will not be completed by winter. Your offering of used winter ski uniforms to the needy residents of Kosovo is a wonderful one and would be a blessing to the area.”

The dry-cleaned and packaged uniforms are scheduled to be shipped Oct. 1.

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