Global kids, global charity

Military children are, I think, endowed with global vision by virtue of their mobile lives. This week's Spouse Calls is about students at a DODDS school reaching out to help students in Africa.

Some in this group, incidentally, are children of military or civilian members assigned to the U.S. Africa Command, but their desire to help the continent arose independently. The fact that their parents were assigned to Africa Command seems more providential than influential to them.

"We had no idea Africom would be here, and we got placed here," said Chandler Carlson. He said he and his siblings had a desire to do some kind of work to help Africa even before their father was stationed at headquarters for the new command at Stuttgart, Germany.

A group of students at USAG Stuttgart's Patch High School is raising funds to help build a well for a school in an African country through charity:water, a non profit organization focused on providing clean water in developing nations.

As a group, these students were born and have lived in several continents, and they don't intend for their outreach to end with their high school years.

"I'm going into biology so I can help with things like this," said Emily Lloyd.

"It's also preparing us if we want to go maybe later in life and work with these types of organizations," said Carissa Carlson. "It's helping me figure out if I want to go and spread God's love by helping out with this water issues in Africa."

The students' goals are to raise $5,000 and awareness in their community of global needs for clean water. To that end, they are planning a charity:water 5K walk on May 16 at Patch Barracks in Stuttgart, Germany.

Since this is my community, and two of my children and many of their friends are involved, I confess a personal interest this story. But then, I am always interested and impressed by kids who see a bigger world than the four walls of their own schools, and by those who realize facebook connections do not make them globally engaged.

The group of about 25 high school students, and now a growing group of middle schoolers, has raised more than half of their goal through the sales of t-shirts, muffins and foot bands.

"We put them on our feet to remind us of how far these kids and people have to walk to get water in Africa," said Carissa.

Through the efforts of these students, at least one group of African children might not have so far to go.




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