Blue-Green Initiative taking donations for needy in Philippines
CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa — About 80 boxes of donated items will soon be headed to the Philippines for distribution during upcoming training exercises, a III Marine Expeditionary Force chaplain said Tuesday.
As part of the Blue-Green Gift Box Initiative, Marines and sailors last week sorted and boxed donated clothes, toys and books for shipment to chaplains already in the Philippines for the annual Talon Vision and Amphibious Landing Exercises, said Cmdr. Manuel A. Biadog, the III MEF Headquarters Group’s chaplain and an initiative organizer.
The effort is about “winning the minds and touching the hearts of the local people when we go out to train,” Biadog said.
Thirty-nine boxes of books collected by Killian Elementary School are already en route to a Philippine village, Biadog said. An additional 40 boxes of educational books and 40 boxes of clothes will be mailed this week.
But the job is not done, Biadog said.
He urged people to continue donating useable items for Operation Regalong Pamasko, the Christmas drop to high-poverty areas in III MEF’s area of responsibility, he said.
Chaplains are requesting summer clothes, toys, shoes and “anything that is still useable,” he said. Sports equipment such as basketballs, volleyballs and soccer balls also are needed.
Last Christmas season more than 18,000 pounds of donations were delivered, he said. That included 3,000 toys, and this year’s goal is to distribute 10,000 toys, he said.
“If not for the giving of people [on Okinawa], children in these areas would not have Christmas gifts,” he said.
People can bring donations to Building 2857 on Camp Hansen. Items also can be dropped off at Camp Foster’s Marine Thrift Shop or Kadena Air Base’s Airman’s Attic. Let the staff know the donations are for the Blue-Green Initiative, Biadog said.
For large donations, call 623-4694 to arrange for a pickup.