Saturday, October 25, 2003

AMERICANS' GENEROSITY NOW MEASURED IN TONS

And this is just one such effort. I know that some CPT Patti readers also made school supply contributions months ago when the call first went out.
U.S. Army Maj. Gregg Softy wasn’t expecting much when he e-mailed a few friends asking for some supplies for the beaten and battered schools in Iraq.

A few boxes of pens and pencils, notebooks and chalk was what he was hoping for. Now, the operations officer with the 1st Armored Division’s 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment receives up to 100 boxes of school supplies every day, from Americans he has never met.

“We are up to about a ton a day coming in,” said Softy, 37, whose children, Shea, 13, and Brennan, 11, are in B├╝dingen, Germany, with their mother, Mary.

So big has the effort become that it even caught the attention of the White House. Softy was mentioned in President Bush’s radio address to the nation on Saturday...

A new effort also has been launched. People can adopt an entire school.

“I have one gentleman who adopted the school around the corner and just bought 700 of everything — notebooks, pencils, glue,” Softy said...

Now he is impressed, he said, with the “power and the passion” of the people who donate, filling box after box with everything from chalk to chalkboards. One person sent 244 soccer balls.

“Americans just want to help,” he said.

Also, he said, the effort lets Americans know that Iraq is being made better. The suicide bombs and the shootouts and the deaths of soldiers rightfully get attention, he said.

“But for every one of those [stories],” he said, “there are 1,000 of these going on.”

Yes there are.

Interested in helping? Visit www.iraqischools.com

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