Sometimes it just amazes me how small the world really is. Right now one of the deployed troops who contacted us for supplies turns out to be practically a neighbor. Not only is he from Sarasota (just about an hour’s drive from Tampa) but his wife is a doctoral student at University of South Florida’s Tampa campus – where of course the “School Supplies for Afghan Children” project moved when the USF Honors College gave us the opportunity to formulate a philanthropy and social media class based on our experience.
We have never met Greg Para and his wife Pearl but when we got Greg’s email from Afghanistan asking for supplies for a school high in the Hindu Kush mountains we of course said “yes.” Greg and Pearl hooked up with us through the USF connection and now the USF Honors students are also raising school supplies and shipping money for a special shipment that will go to Greg.
Greg is helping a school in Northern Afghanistan; there are nearly 1600 students (594 Boys + 997 Girls = Total 1591) in this poor school so everything Greg can deliver there will be a huge help and we of course want show him some “Bulls Pride.” Many of the Afghan kids actually learn in rooms that have holes in the roof and there is no no heat or A/C so they wear their jackets but are still anxious to learn. Awhile back some of the kids came to Greg’s camp’s entry control point asking if they knew when their teacher would be out of the hospital because they wanted to keep learning English. Mind you they still have snow on the ground over there!
- spiral notebooks
- small portable whiteboards
- metric rulers
- pencil sharpeners
- dull tipped children’s scissors
- construction paper
As of today we have a new drop off location in Sarasota. It’s at USF Sarasota at the entrance to Jonathan’s Café. It will be up for the next 3 weeks. I will go back to pick up all the Sarasota donations on April 6th and then we’ll pack them with the Honors students and ship them to Greg in Afghanistan. (We also have two drop off sites at USF’s North Tampa campus.)
Of course if you want to help us and are not located in Central Florida, you can ship directly to one of our volunteer troops in Afghanistan. For more information on that email us at TRexinAfghanistan@gmail.com. And you can always make a 100% tax deductible donation to our shipping fund – please click here for more information.
Greg tells us he has been in contact with his interpreter and he is excited about the school supplies project and the work we are all doing to help. That interpreter has also spoken with the headmaster at this school and she is excited and anxious to have the US troops to the school to deliver the supplies. Look for photos from that happy delivery in the coming months right here on this blog!