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Donated school supplies headed to Afghanistan and Alamance County

Elon faculty, staff and students have donated hundreds of school supplies that will benefit children in Alamance County and in Afghanistan.

Faculty and staff brought bookbags and other supplies to the Opening of School program on Aug. 22 inside the Koury Athletic Center.

About three dozen student volunteers from the Student Government Association, Elon Volunteers!, and the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life have sorted and packed for shipment to Afghanistan many of the donations made to date. All told, the university is sending 25 boxes of supplies to the other side of the globe.

Another 14 boxes, plus several dozen backpacks, await sorting and distribution to local children. The collection drive continues through Friday, with all gifts going to high-need students in the communities surrounding the university.

As of Monday morning, the Elon University community contributed:

522 notebooks
147 packs of pencils
136 packs of crayons
130 glue sticks or bottles
99 packs of erasers
97 packs of loose-leaf paper
89 book bags

The turnaround time from the initial suggestion to the Afghanistan shipment was one of the most pleasant surprises for one student leader involved in the project. Senior Rachel Long, SGA’s executive vice president and a political science & public administration double major from outside Philadelphia, lauded Elon University President Leo M. Lambert for his role in making the school supply drive a reality, and she described the weekend packaging event as “a humbling experience.”

Twenty-five boxes of supplies will be shipped to Afghanistan, while 89 bookbags will make their way to children in need in Alamance County.

“It was one of those moments where you were proud to go to a school like Elon,” Long said. “I don’t know if that would have happened so quickly or powerfully anywhere else.”

Long said she believes that as information about the effort spreads, more students – especially upperclassmen returning to campus – will take part. Bins can be found in various locations across campus, including Belk Library, the Moseley Center, and in residence halls.

“Three weeks ago this was just an idea that was suggested in an open forum,” Long said. “The fact that Elon is able to take something like that, and stir passion so quickly with so many students, it’s exciting to be a part of it.”

Eric Townsend,
8/30/2011 9:19 AM