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Vol. 44, No. 6

January 22, 2010

 

Department of Education Launches Haiti Relief Project – “Kits for Kids”

Goal: 100,000 kits in 10 days

State education officials, in conjunction with an international relief organization based in Springfield, have kicked off a statewide project to involve Missouri schoolchildren in relief efforts for Haiti.

The Department of Education has encouraged public schools across the state to join the “Kits 4 Kids” project next week and to involve students, families and community groups in assembling hygiene kits for children in Haiti.

The kits will be collected and distributed in Haiti by Convoy of Hope, a Springfield-based organization that already has resources on the ground in Haiti.  The organization has been in Haiti for three years, serving meals to as many as 11,000 children a day. 

The goal of the Missouri project is to assemble and collect 100,000 kits within the next 10 days.  The kits will include toothpaste, shampoo, bar of soap, toothbrush, comb and a hand towel packed in a plastic zipper bag.

The Department of Education has created a Web site with supporting materials, a flyer that can be provided to students and parents, and detailed instructions on how to assemble and pack the kits.   

“Convoy of Hope is a well-established relief organization that is based in Missouri.  Some schools are already partnering with this group for Haiti-relief efforts.  We felt this project offered a tangible, low-cost, easy way for Missouri kids and families to show their compassion for suffering children in Haiti,” said Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro.

Schools that choose to participate will be encouraged to assemble and collect the hygiene kits by February 1.  Eleven Regional Professional Development Centers that are affiliated with the Department of Education across the state will serve as collection sites for the kits.  Convoy of Hope will pick up the assembled kits or pay to have them shipped to its Springfield headquarters.

“To make this a more meaningful experience for all the children of Missouri, we also are encouraging students to include written notes to be included in the kits,” Nicastro said.

Ron Showers, outreach director for Convoy of Hope, said the hygiene kits will “make an immediate difference in the lives of the children in Haiti.  With an estimated 1.5 million homeless survivors, there is a great need to make sure they are supplied with the most basic necessities of life.  We look forward to the huge difference the students of Missouri are going to make in the coming weeks.”