William Penn University Partners with Local Businesses to Collect Clothing, Food for Afghan Children

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There's nothing that an army of volunteers, students, community members and U.S. Armed Forces cannot do to change the lives of those less fortunate in the foothills of Afghanistan. And a small, Iowa liberal arts college community is doing just that: changing Afghan children's lives one coat, pair of shoes and pad of paper at a time.

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Under the direction of businessman and William Penn instructor Rob Elgin, donations have been pouring in. The goal is to fill a 2,000-pound container, bound for Afghanistan's most rugged terrain, by March 31.

There's nothing that an army of volunteers, students, community members and U.S. Armed Forces cannot do to change the lives of those less fortunate in the foothills of Afghanistan. And a small, Iowa liberal arts college community is doing just that: changing Afghan children's lives one coat, pair of shoes and pad of paper at a time.

William Penn University's College for Working Adults (CWA) in West Des Moines, Iowa, is in the midst of a large collection drive, seeking quality used coats, boots, blankets and bulk dry food to help Afghan children. Large companies, such as Lowe's, Knapp Properties and American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company, in the Des Moines metropolitan area have pledged supplies and help to the cause. Under the direction of businessman and William Penn instructor Rob Elgin, donations have been pouring in. The goal is to fill a 2,000-pound container, bound for Afghanistan's most rugged terrain, by March 31.

The 2,000-pound container will hold school supplies, clothing, books and a whole lot of hope. To add a personal touch to the cause, volunteers and donors are asked to include letters of encouragement for local children with self-addressed, stamped envelopes for their responses. The postage cost is the U.S. domestic rate of 44 cents. For children growing up in the war-torn nation, Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous places in the world:

  •     Twenty percent will die before age five, falling victim to malnutrition, hypothermia or war-related hazards.
  •     The remainder of the population grows up constantly fighting for survival, searching for food as they struggle in the bitter, Afghanistan winters.

"Military programs are trying to win the hearts of Afghan citizens, and there is no better way of doing this than by helping to save the lives of their children," said Elgin.

To participate or for more information, contact CWA's Sherill Whisenand at (515) 222-9949, ext. 1348, or e-mail sherill(dot)whisenand(at)cwa(dot)wmpenn(dot)edu.

William Penn University is a liberal arts university, based in Oskaloosa, Iowa, with nontraditional campuses in West Des Moines and Ankeny, Iowa. William Penn University provides the opportunity for an educational experience that focuses on leadership, technology and the Quaker principles of simplicity, peacemaking, integrity, community and equality.

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