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School kids pack kits for Haitians

Benton First UMC received boxes and boxes of items for health kits from Marshall County school kids.  UMNS Photos courtesy of Sue Engle.

By Cathy Farmer*
8:00 AM EST, Feb. 3, 2010 | MARSHALL COUNTY, Ky. (UMNS)

Valerie Shutt, left, and Carolyn Rodriguez helped sort 150 boxes and bags of supplies.

Ten schools in Marshall County, Ky., collected 1,200 UMCOR health kits for Haitian earthquake survivors.

The effort began at a student council meeting in Benton Elementary School.

Days after the earthquake, Chloe, a fifth-grade member of the council, said, “One of the things I saw [on TV] was a little baby. The baby was injured pretty badly. Just to be so small and not know what was going on. I think that would scare me. They have a whole life ahead of them. It would be scary to start your life out like that.”

Challenge issued

Dianna Easley, a fifth-grade teacher and sponsor of the student council, told the children about The United Methodist Church’s effort to send thousands of health kits to Haiti.

The council leapt at the chance to help. They challenged all the schools in Marshall County to join them in filling bags with hand towels, washcloths, combs, nail files, soap, toothbrushes and adhesive bandages.

Lexee, also a member of the student council, added that it felt really good to be part of making stuff for Haiti. “I wonder what I would feel like if it were me in that situation and what I would do and how I would feel if people would help me like this,” she said.

Stacey Bradley: “Most of our students were aware of the disaster and wanted to make
an impact.”

The students in the county school system, which includes six elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school, soon gathered more than 50 large boxes of materials.

Stacey Bradley, an assistant principal at Marshall County High School, picked up the boxes from the 10 schools.

Lessons learned

“One elementary student asked if I was going to drive the items to Haiti,” Bradley laughed. “I told them it would be trucked then shipped.

“So there are more lessons here besides humanitarianism,” he said. “They’ll tie this to their school lessons.”

The boxes and bags were transferred to First United Methodist Church in Benton, Ky., where church members spent an evening filling one-gallon plastic bags with the contents.

Susan Engle, the church’s director of program ministry, said they prepared 1,200 kits and had 14 extra boxes of supplies. The kits will be added to the Memphis Conference-wide effort and shipped to Sager Brown, the United Methodist Committee on Relief depot in Louisiana.

*Farmer is director of communications for the Memphis Conference.

News media contact: Joey Butler, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.


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