CONTACT:  JIM MORRIS
Director, Public Information
573-751-3469

Vol. 44, No. 10

February 5, 2010

                      

Missouri Kids Respond to Haiti Crisis-

“Kits 4 Kids” Project a “Smashing Success”

Thanks to the generosity and quick response of thousands of students, parents and teachers across the Missouri, the “Kits 4 Kids” relief project for earthquake-stricken Haiti has been a “smashing success,” state education officials said today.

More than 30,000 personal hygiene kits have been assembled and donated by Missouri schoolchildren and families over the past week.  The last boxes of kits were picked up today for delivery to Convoy of Hope, the Springfield-based relief organization that will distribute the hygiene kits to children in Haiti.

“The response to this project has been overwhelming and heartwarming.  We asked schools to move very quickly to take part in Kits 4 Kids.  Students, parents and teachers found this to be an easy, inexpensive and tangible way for students to make a real contribution to children and families who are suffering in Haiti,” said Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro.

State education officials are still tallying the numbers of schools and school districts that joined Kits 4 Kids and how many kits were collected.  Two truckloads were collected at sites across the state yesterday; two more truckloads were collected today.

Eleven Regional Professional Development Centers (RPDCs) across the state served as collection points for kits assembled at local schools.  Staff and volunteers at the RPDCs, which are affiliated with the Department of Education, went “above and beyond” to collect and store thousands of boxes until they were picked up by Convoy of Hope. 

By the end of the day yesterday, a full container of hygiene kits had already been packed and dispatched from the Convoy of Hope warehouse in Springfield.  The container will be trucked to Florida for shipping to Haiti along with other relief supplies. 

Employees of the Department of Education also assembled and donated nearly 1,000 kits to the relief project, Nicastro said.

The Department of Education partnered with Convoy of Hope to coordinate the statewide project.  Gov. Jay Nixon visited Bowerman Elementary School in Springfield yesterday to mark the culmination of the week-long project. 

Schools or other community organizations that would like to continue to support the Kits 4 Kids initiative or other
relief projects should contact Convoy of Hope directly for suggestions on ways to contribute.