Trottier students collect supplies for war-ravaged Liberia

by susan on October 20, 2009

On the west coast of Africa, Liberia recently ended a 15-year civil war

Located on the west coast of Africa, Liberia recently emerged from a 15-year civil war

Trottier teacher and long-time Southborough resident Liz Henry sent along this information about an initiative to collected supplies for Liberia, a country recovering from a 15-year civil war. It’s a community effort, so read on to learn how you can help.

From October 14 through 30, the Trottier community is conducting a collection drive for first aid items, school supplies and toiletries to send to Liberia.  With teachers serving as sponsors and logistics support, the student council, peer leaders, arts and crafts club, and family and consumer science students are working to earn community service credit.

All members of the Trottier community are encouraged to bring in items. All Southborough residents are welcome to help us with this project, and can drop off articles in the collection box in the Trottier lobby.  A list of the most urgently needed items is provided at the end of this article; please see below.

All items collected will be transported to and distributed in Liberia this winter by the Mission to Liberia organization, at no cost to us.  This group, a 501(c)3 non-profit staffed entirely by volunteers, has already sent two 40-foot containers to Liberia. They have also set up a secure distribution center for distributing the collected items directly to the people who need them.  In addition, they are providing ongoing support for grass roots Liberian organizations which help amputees, the homeless, and orphans, and are contributing to efforts to restore medical training facilities and equipment in a country that has 200 doctors for a population of 3.5 million.

Mission to Liberia, based in Rochester, MA, is headed by Joseph Deranamie, an American citizen and former Liberian refugee, and Michael Cambra, a former CEO who sold his shipping company and is dedicating his retirement to this cause.

The country of Liberia, in West Africa, is at peace after fifteen years of war, but is struggling in the aftermath of the conflicts that caused virtually total destruction of its infrastructure, and the needs are huge.  There are many non-government organizations working toward specific goals in the country, and we have partnered with one of them, Mission to Liberia (www.missiontoliberia.org), to collect urgently needed items for shipment and distribution.

Trottier joins many other MA schools and organizations, such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, College of the Holy Cross, and public schools in Newton and Rochester, that have partnered with Mission to Liberia in highly successful drives for used shoes and children’s books.  This international project offers students the opportunity to make a difference while also learning the practical realities of becoming global citizens.   They can also count their efforts on this project toward their required community service hours.   The staff also see it as a wonderful way of modeling a simple message of social responsibility, “Do what you can.”

Suggested items for donation:

  • band aids
  • bandages
  • vitamins
  • Antiseptics
  • tooth paste
  • toothbrushes
  • vaseline
  • rubbing alcohol
  • anti-bacterials
  • hand lotion
  • hand sanitizer
  • toiletries of any kind
  • school supplies

Although there is a dire need for over-the-counter medicines, such as aspirin and ibuprofen,  Trottier cannot accept these items at the school.  Any adult wishing to contribute over-the-counter medicines  is asked to call Liz Henry at 508-485-4664.

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