Sunday, July 25, 2004

Spirit of America

Readers might notice the 'Spirit of America' logo in the margins of my blog -- if you haven't checked it out, it's one of those organizations that's assisting the U.S. military in making a real difference in the reparation and rebuilding of a new Iraq.

I know that many Catholics are divided on the U.S.-Iraqi war and our ongoing presence in Iraq, but perhaps we can unite in supporting SOA's various projects, some of which are listed below:

  • In response to a request from Captain Justin Thomas for musical instruments for Kurdish villages in Northern Iraq Spirit of America provided $4500 for pianos and violins. These instruments were presented to village elders in Byara and Khormal where people had been forbidden to listen to or play music for years under the Islamist Government of Kurdistan.
  • Lt. Col. David Couvillon and fellow marines handed out nearly 500 red, white and blue soccer jerseys to children in Wassit Province, Iraq. The kits included an insert with images of the American and Iraqi flags, photographs of American men, women and children and the greeting "A gift of friendship from the people of the United States to the people of Iraq." Federal Express donated express shipping of the jerseys to the Marines.
  • In response to a request from the U.S. 1st Marine Division, Spirit of America donated 10,000 school supply kits, 3 tons of medical supplies and 2 tons of Frisbees printed with "Friendship" in English and Arabic. These items will be given to Iraqis by the Marines as gifts of friendship from the American people.
  • U.S. Marines distributed 2,000 dental kits to villages in and around Al Hillah. Al Hillah is south of Baghdad and is where the ancient city of Babylon is located. Burghard emailed, "These are our friends, and had exceptionally kind words when we brought the dental kits to them. They reacted differently than what we would see during a basic humanitarian assistance project. They considered the dental kits gifts from friends in America, quite literally as the small leaflet indicated."

Current Requests from Spirit of America. Some of the current projects (for which donations and materials are needed) include 27,000 more school kits for Iraqi children; sewing machines for Sewing Centers being set up by the Director of Economic development; tool sets to assist U.S. Marines and SeaBees in training Iraqi men as carpenters, electricians, plumbers and masons . . . READ MORE.

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