Health kits assembled to Make a Difference
August 27, 2008 · Updated 5:41 PM
ARLINGTON For Arlington resident Eileen Oakes, the decision to pitch was inspired by a simple question.
A friend of ours, Ethel Thompson, asked us, What are you doing for Make a Difference Day? Oakes said. I thought of these four boys from Sudan, who had stayed at our church about four years ago, and I remember them telling us how meaningful the school kits wed sent them had been.
So, with National Make a Difference Day coming up Oct. 28, Oakes looked back on some of the largest tragedies to hit people, both in our own country and around the world, over the course of the past two years, and opted to assemble as many health and hygiene kits for Lutheran World Relief as she could.
Originally, Id only planned on doing about 48, but once the donations started coming in, that goal got upped to at least 100, Oakes said. Ive gotten lots of support from the community, and Id love to be able to collect enough supplies for 500 kits before Oct. 28, but that number might be pushing it a little bit.
With tsunamis striking abroad and hurricanes crashing against Americas coasts, Oakes sees such kits as a vital means for displaced residents of natural disaster zones to feel less like refugees, by providing them with personal items that theyll need on a daily basis. As such, each kit includes a hand towel, a washcloth, a bath-sized bar of soap, an adult toothbrush, a 5.7-ounce tube of toothpaste, a fingernail clipper, a comb and six standard-sized Band-Aids.
Oakes requested that, if possible, shed prefer fingernail clippers with nail file attachments, and because areas such as New Orleans possess higher percentages of African-Americans in their populations, she specifically asked for wide-tooth combs, out of consideration for the needs of their hair. She went on to point out that darker-colored hand towels and washcloths show less dirt.
Our church already has an ongoing campaign, where we put together about six-dozen kits a year, but this is a big push, said Oakes, a parishioner at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Arlington. She added that tax-deductible monetary donations will also be accepted, not only to purchase items with which to assemble the kits, but also to help defray the cost of shipping the kits to Lutheran World Relief.
Oakes has registered the kit project with the Make a Difference DAYtaBank on the Internet, at http://www.mindshares.org//MADD2006_DAYtaBANK/, and may be reached by phone at 360-474-1136, via e-mail at email@example.com, or through postal mail at 18224 Turnberry Pl., Arlington, WA 98223.