Helping St. Louis

A Blog About Helping Each Other

Posts Tagged ‘Air Force’

Building Relationships

Posted by Schevus on March 10, 2009

My family and I have a friend who is currently deployed to Afghanistan for the Air Force. Of course we send him care packages to remind him of home and to make his experience a little better, but with the next package we plan to take it a little farther. I asked him if there were any particular items that the locals needed and he discussed it with the humanitarian officer and determined that currently school supplies are in demand.

Fortunately we had a cache of school supplies from our last stockpiling when they were on sale for the back to school season. We will be sending pens, pencils, markers, crayons, colored pencils, and paper. The weight of the paper will likely make the shipping cost a bit high, but such is life.

The soldiers in Afghanistan distribute these kinds of humanitarian items on their patrols as a way to build relationships and trust with the local Afghanis, as well as to make life a little easier and better for them. As I think most people have come to understand now, Afghanistan will not be won militarily, but rather with more productive nation-building techniques (and better government). I like to think that these small humanitarian donations assist that process in a very small way.

I am pleased to be sending school supplies because as I have mentioned many times in my blog, I think education plays a crucial role in the development of any country. If I can help a few Afghani children make it through their schooling, perhaps they will decide to become engineers,  government officials, or teachers rather than falling prey to fundamentalist ideology.

I realize that children need help here at home too, but I think that devoting some resources toward ending the conflict in Afghanistan is also a worthy endeavor. It will be a benefit for our youth not to have an ever lingering conflict to deal with when they grow up.

If you are interested in donating items – either to troops or Afghani locals – but do not know how, leave a comment and let me know.

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