Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Oakton, A Giving Community

The donations are collected. The boxes are packed. The shipment is scheduled.

In the past year I have traveled to Africa four times taking donations to Future Leaders Underprivileged Children's Center (UCC). At the UCC kids are taught basic math, reading and writing until funds can be raised for them to continue on to public school.  These children are living in extreme poverty (less than $1 a day) and don't even have the minimal fees needed to attend public schools.  The conditions and supplies at the school are the most basic of basic. For example they write on broken chalk tablets, drink water from one communal bucket, pack together in outdoor classrooms, there are no text books and all supplies are used and donated. Every little thing I bring is greatly needed and appreciated. Up until now I have been filling extra suitcases and bringing donations to the UCC myself.

Recently word has spread, probably because I can't stop talking about it, and I have had a team of wonderful volunteers helping me. I have way too much for suitcases this time and the donations will be sent in a shipping container.

For his Eagle Scout project, Oakton High School senior Paul Burke collected school supplies, back packs and shoes for the children.


Children at Waples Mill Elementary collected and boxed donations of clothes, shoes, school supplies and back packs.


Manassas Public Schools donated outdated text books. These books which include teachers manuals will be invaluable to raise the level of education for these children. Now any teacher, no matter how little training, can follow a lesson plan and teach a class.

Local Ghanaian's saved the day by allowing me to fill the empty spots in their shipping container. I can't begin to thank you Linda and Daniel.

Speaking of shipping containers, they can be very useful as building and rooms such as the UCC's new computer lab. I brought over these old learning games and computers on my last trip to Africa. It is helping so much because there are not enough teachers to go around. Now the kids can have fun as they learn to read at the same time they are learning English.