Wednesday, September 15, 2010
How you can help
Almost weekly I get a email or card from a friend, or random family asking if there is anything that I need or want while I am here in Afghanistan. I normally just say thanks as I have been really blessed while here and have received a lot of care packages, and for the most part the Army provides most everything I need.
I thought I would share an idea if folks want to send me anything. Actually it is something that I would like share with some kids in Afghanistan. The Sergeant Major in my unit has found a team on our base that occasionally visits local schools. We are coordinating that in October our small team will spend a day visiting a school or two. We would like to let anyone who might be interested in donating, that we would like to receive school supplies to give to local Afghan children. We will take anything that you think a kid from 1st grade up through 12th grade might need or use. Paper, pens, pencils, crayons, markers, glue, scissors. I don't have children, but I'm sure I have a much longer list of things that parents were recently required to purchase to send their little ones back to school. Additionally I'm sure we could find a way to send out any small toys that might be included. Believe it or not, flying kites is something we often see kids doing around here; so small kites or kite accessories I'm sure would be appreciated. Keep in mind that while some of the kids may know a couple words of english, for the most part kids younger than high school age won't be able to recognize english writing. Additionally the one thing that I ask for any who might be tempted to send something is to not send any religious themed materials. Feel free to send God's love with the package you make, however I think that it will cause more problems than it would help if were to share with them anything Christian related.
It was interesting and exciting to see a bunch of children, mostly girls, walking down the street the other day as we passed by in our vehicles. What was interesting was that the young girls were all carrying small plastic chairs, what appeared to be a good distance. In talking to our Terps they said that some schools, especially girls schools, are so poor that if the children want to sit down they have to bring their own chairs to school. So everyday in addition to any books or supplies, they also carry a chair to and from school.
Education is the hope and future of this country. When children and later adults are able to read and write they will be able to understand the corruption or perversion of the groups like the Taliban or Al-Qaeda.
We plan to do a school visit sometime in October. The only bad part is that I may be on leave during that time period, enjoying my vacation. Should you decide you want to send a school supplies package please put somewhere on the address a notation indicating that it is school supplies. I will tell my friends that it is okay to open any box of my indicated as so. Obviously I will certainly write about and share pictures of any donations we hand out. Please send supplies to me at:
CPT Marc Rassler
MN CS OMLT
Camp Mike Spann
APO AE 09368