We have taken our project one step further. On Monday (2/14/11), our Honors College class from the University of South Florida walked into the office of Salem Communications, a radio station here in Tampa. Upon our arrival, we saw an eight-year-old little girl named Melody Geiger, who was talking about the importance of our cause. Melody has her own drive in Pinellas County and is constantly collecting more and more school supplies for the children in Afghanistan. Melody is the youngest person to help out with the cause at only eight years of age and she was standing in front of me talking into the microphone spreading the word. After Melody spoke, some of the classmates from our class explained our role and the importance of the project. If you are interested in hearing the segment, you can tune-in Saturday, February 19th at 7:00 a.m. on WLSS AM 930 and WTBN AM 570 & 910 or Sunday, February 20th at 6:00 a.m. on WGUL 860 AM. The show will also be available on Podcast at: Talkradio860.com, Bayword.com and WLSSradio.com.
This was not the first time we used the media to help us. We had the USF television crew and Fox 13 News in our classroom interviewing Senior Master Sergeant Rex Temple and his wife (our professor) Liisa Temple about “School Supplies for Afghan Children.” This week, however, we got the chance to speak to Shayna Lance, the radio host for WTBN. This was just one more way for us to reach out to the Tampa Bay community. Lance made it clear to us that we needed to talk to Tampa because the community here is so generous and giving.
I have already received some school supplies. Although, most of the donations I have received have come from friends who have old school supplies that they don’t use anymore. My goal is to get the rest of the Tampa Bay community involved so they too can donate their old (or new) school supplies or office supplies that are just lying around. Sure, I have collected a pretty decent amount of supplies so far, but if the citizens of Tampa heard about our project, I’m sure my supplies would look small compared to what we can really get.
I also want to touch on the point about shipping. These school supplies are not cheap to ship. We have to fill a very specific box from the United States Postal Service (USPS) and each box costs exactly $12.95 to ship to Afghanistan. This semester, our goal is to ship 120 boxes full of school supplies and we need to raise $1,554.00 to cover the shipping. We are definitely going to need some help!
It sure sounds like a lot of money when you are looking at the total, but if families from the Tampa area would support just one box, it would not be asking for much. Just $12.95 and children in Afghanistan will have the supplies necessary to attend school! Did I mention the fact that we operate under Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation? That means all donations made to our drive are tax deductible.
If interested, please make out the check to Holland & Knight Foundation and in the memo section; fill in “Afghan Schools.” This is extremely important because without the memo section we won’t receive the funds. The check can then be sent to:
Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation, Inc.
Post Office Box 2877
Tampa, FL 33601-2877
If you are interested in donating school supplies, please feel free to contact me to find the closest drop-off location. You can email me at TRexinAfghanistan@gmail.com or comment below. If you are located in the greater Tampa Bay area, we can also schedule a pick-up service if needed (through the email above). For a list of supplies we collect, click here.