Airmen Distribute Donations To Orphanage In Kyrgyzstan
(December 18, 2009)
Senior Airman Amy Poch hands a
teddy bear to a Nizhanchuisk Orphanage and
School student during a visit in December.
Airmen from the Transit Center at Manas,
Kyrgyzstan delivered over 50 donated boxes of
clothes, toys and necessities from the U.S., to
the orphanage. Airman Poch is a 376th
Expeditionary Medical Group laboratory
technician. U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt.
||TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan
(12/15/2009 - AFNS) -- Several Airmen stationed
at the Transit Center at Manas here recently
delivered more than 60 boxes to a local
orphanage that were sent by a dental college in
Texas and others throughout America.
Kyrgyz children and teachers at the Nizhanchuisk
Orphanage and School had no idea what was in
store for them when the Airmen came to visit the
school in early December.
Dental hygiene program students and instructors
at Blinn College located in Bryan, Texas, came
together to help a Kyrgyz orphanage.
"We are so blessed (in America) and I felt like
we needed to do something to help these
children," said Marque' Mathis, a Blinn College
dental hygiene instructor.
Mrs. Mathis reached out to her students and
fellow faculty members after her nephew, Lt.
Col. Lee Landis, who is deployed to the Transit
Center, contacted her for help.
"I send a weekly e-mail update to my family and
friends in the U.S. about my deployment and I
asked for their help after hearing the needs of
the Nizhanchuisk Village Orphanage," said
Colonel Landis, the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing
chief of safety. "My Aunt Marque' is a great
lady. She told me immediately that she would
reach out to her students at the college for
All 24 junior and senior-year students
enrolled in the dental hygiene program at Blinn
College gave a helping hand with collecting,
packaging and sending
out the 53 boxes to the orphanage.
"It was a group effort by all the students in the program,"
said Jamie Gladden, a Blinn College dental hygiene senior
student. "Community service is very important to us and I
feel that it is an imperative aspect of our education.
Knowing that these children will have the basic essentials
we all were so fortunate to grow up with is a wonderful
Colonel Landis and fellow Airmen traveled to the
Nizhanchuisk Orphanage with a vehicle packed with donations
for the children and teachers there.
"A group of Manas Area Benefit Outreach Society members and
I delivered the boxes in early December and the smiles on
the children's faces came instantly," Colonel Landis said.
"The faculty was very appreciative of the generosity from
America. The students could barely sit still as we walked
around the classroom and gave out socks, jackets, shirts,
"The children shook our hands, gave us high-fives, and
wanted to take pictures with us," he said. "It made all of
us feel good that we could see the direct impact on the
lives of children that have very little."
Senior Airman John Reuter, the Manas Area Benefit Outreach
Society focus group leader for the Nizhanchuisk Orphanage,
also handed out gifts to the children.
"When we handed out the items at the orphanage you could
just see the children's eyes light up," said Airman Reuter,
a 376th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron security
journeyman at Manas. "They had never seen clothes like this
in their lifetime. They had never seen clothes that didn't
have holes; clothes that had working zippers; clothes that
still had all the buttons attached."
"When I let Colonel Landis and other MABOS members know of
the direct needs of the orphanage, everyone immediately
began making contacts back home," he said.
Blinn College students and numerous other organizations in
the U.S. donated over the past several months to include
Lycoming Nursery School in Pa., Wilson Junior High School in
Wisc., Silver Creek Church in Wash., St. Paul Lutheran
Church and School in Neb., friends and family of Tech. Sgt.
Gustavo Gonzalez, St. John's Catholic Church in Va., and
many others sent more than 200 boxes.
|Blinn College dental hygiene program students in put together boxes of clothing, toys and necessities to send to Kyrgyz children at the Nizhanchuisk Village Orphanage and School in Kyrgyzstan Oct. 24, 2009 in Bryan, Texas. The dental students are very active in community service and took time to put together more than 50 boxes to send to Kyrgyzstan in November. Courtesy photo
"Without a doubt, our friends and family back home created a
miracle for these orphans and will forever make a lasting
impact on the U.S.-Kyrgyz relationship," Airman Reuter said.|
Article and photo by USAF Sr. Airman Steele C. G. Britton
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Air Force News Service
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