Collection program 2017 is in the bag! We had such a fantastic response to our project from the Parkway School District principals, teachers and families. A huge thank you goes out to all of you for making this such a successful donation drive!
Since the end of the school year, we have held several volunteer sessions where we have been sorting, counting and boxing the donations for shipment. It is so much fun to do this as a group and for younger volunteers to get to understand the difference these items will make to another child.
To date, we have sorted supplies and packaged 54 boxes. Some additional clothing was boxed up over the holiday weekend and this will be added to the boxes to be shipped to Zambia. In total, we anticipate sending around 70 boxes to Zambia which will be clothing as well as stationery supplies. In our efforts to date, we have counted over 9,000 pencils, more than 12,000 crayons, over 600 notebooks, over 5000 sheets of paper, more than 150 reading books for the school library and many more items. With these supplies, every child in the elementary school at St Maurice in Lusaka, will be able to receive at least one notebook, about 6 pencils and there will be plenty of crayons for everyone. This will cut the need to purchase basic school supplies and means that the money can be used for other purposes, such as food, heating, clothing.
The generosity of the shipping partner, C H Robinson, makes this donation possible as they fly the items to Zambia. They will fly two pallets of items to Zambia for this project and have offered their service to ship additional pallets at cost as they will donate their time and expertise. The cost of sending another pallet is around $1200. We are currently investigating the possibility of sending an additional pallet
As the families in the district were overwhelmingly generous, we will be able to expand our school supply project to other areas. We have been approached to expand the work to a school in Mexico and are currently working with local partners on the ground who have identified 2 schools in need. We will be working with them to determine the needs, and how to ship the donations to them.
We have also been approached to expand in Africa. Firstly, through private requests to assist in South Africa and then through Monsanto to assist in Malawi. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and we would like to assist with sending school supplies as these supplies would make an incredible difference to the children and teachers. We are researching ways to be able to assist, as we have additional supplies of clothing and school supplies on hand.
In 2017-2018 school year we will continue this project and are looking to expand to additional districts in the St Louis area, in order to serve not only the external community but looking at ways to serve and assist within the St Louis area.
Thank you again for your generosity and support of our project!