Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Goodbye Containers!!!

Over the last few weeks we have been really busy here getting the containers packed and ready to be shipped out! Basirou, Ousman and I had a weekend marathon packing the last 3 containers full of tons of school supplies and clothing, first we separated each item, then counted them to keep an inventory of what we were shipping and then we packed them away to not be seen until they are thousands of miles and a huge ocean away!

We ended up shipping a total of 5 fifty five gallon containers. The people came all the way from Pennsylvania last Sunday to pick up our containers and we packed their van full! We got a good deal paying $130 per container for shipping.

In a couple of months Basirou and I will be heading to The Gambia where we will meet with a Peace Corps volunteer Ian to unpack and organize everything we have shipped and distribute these items according to schools that are in the most need of them. 3 gallons of chalkboard paint along with several good paint brushes were also sent to help repair damaged chalkboards.

If you want to help and haven't had the chance to you are not too late! We are still accepting financial donations to purchase additional supplies we can carry on in our luggage and also for the supplies to get to where they need to be once in The Gambia. Many of these school supplies are going to the Upper River Region which is several hours drive from the city we are separating these items in. Feel free to give any amount as small as $1 will make a difference! There is a paypal button to the right that is a very easy way to donate any amount you would like to give! Any extra amount made above and beyond what we need for supplies and deliveries will be used to sponsor children who cant afford to go to school for a chance to attend!

For any further questions contact me at Thanks!!

Monday, October 11, 2010


I would like to congratulate Sharon Nevius who is the raffle winner for the $100 Pizazz It! gift certificate! The results of the fundraiser are in: We raised $621 in raffle tickets and Pizazz It! donated $379 to make it an even $1,000 raised. From the donation jar we have collected approximately $50. Enough supplies were donated to fill two entire 55 gallon containers and thanks to donations collected, I have purchased enough to fill three more 55 gallon containers. These five containers are set to be shipped out in a few days so that they will arrive in time for my and Basirou's arrival in The Gambia (West Africa) in December. Congrats Sharon and happy shopping!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Gambia 101

The Gambia is Africa's smallest country, completely surrounded by Senegal (other than the ocean line), located on the western side of africa along the Atlantic Ocean. They are colonized by the Brittish therfor their countries language is english
however most are unable to speak it. You will find 4 different languages being spoken there which are Wolof, Mandinka, Fula and Serehuli. Most Gambian are able to speak 3 out of the 4 local languages but only 1 being their primary language.

You know how here in the States we get our own plate along with silverware can choose from eating a large array of foods and usually end up eating it in front of the TV, well in The Gambia it is for the most part completely opposite. All lunch and dinner meals consist of rice accompanied by some sort of sauce, cassava and okra, as far as meat is concerned you don't really eat it often, it is a luxury to have it. With that said they do eat fish
a lot, since they are right along the ocean and there is a river in the middle of the country that runs almost completely across there is plenty of fish to go around. The food is served in a large communal bowl, typically women eat with other women and men eat with other men. When eating you do use your hands but make sure to use your right hand only!

So you think you've never heard of The Gambia? Odds are you have somewhat heard of it, remember the movie ROOTS or Kunta Kinte? Well if you haven't already figured out where I am going with this, yes, ROOTS is based off of Kunta Kinte who is from The Gambia. The picture to the left is an island called Juffure Island, also known as James Island. Kunta, along with many other Gambians were held captive on this island until ships came to get them. They were bought and sold as slaves to Europe, Haiti, Jamaica and America. They have kept the island in the condition that is was in 200 years ago, it is really a touching experience to see the African side of the slavery that went on.

So, I know none of this was really about school supplies or anything that my actual project is for but I thought it may help to get a bit of the Gambian background, for you to understand where The Gambia is and what they are known for. Hopefully soon I will do a "The Gambia 102" for you because this does not even cover half of what makes The Gambia!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A discount & book bags!

Pizazz It! Scrapbooks, a wonderful store that I have mentioned before, is offering a 20% off discount on your entire purchase to those who bring in a donation of school supplies!! This has gone over wonderfully, I have had the small collection container there for about 3 weeks now and have emptied it about 4 times!! I know I say it in every blog entry but THANK YOU to everyone who has helped, I really cant say this enough.
If you are in the central Ohio area and love to scrapbook bring in a donation of school supplies for your 20% discount, this is going on until September 19, 2010.

This project originally started as a personal project, I wanted to be able to help out a school or 2 full of children who really needed it. I ended up opening up and extending this project to those who also want to help. I know personally I have always wanted to donate and help children but never knew which organization I wanted to choose and where exactly everything I donated would go. For that reason I started the blog, I want those who donate to see how happy the children are when receiving what you gave them, I want those who give cash to know exactly where it is going (you can even tell me specifically what you want it to go toward, IE: shipping, supplies, sponsoring a child to attend school). This week I went out with my stash of cash I had set aside and bought some book bags! Book bags are a pretty big deal to have there so I am really excited to see their faces on these!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

And The Countdown Begins

Time is moving faster and faster each day! Only 4 months and a couple of weeks and I will be arriving in The Gambia, I cant wait! I have enough items to start packing my 2nd container, I plan on doing that next weekend. I will begin shipping the containers around the beginning of October so hopefully they will arrive around the same day that I do. My plans for when the containers get there are to meet up with Ian a peace corps volunteer leader over there who has been living in The Gambia for a little over 2 years now, we will be separating the school supplies and clothing donations I have shipped so that they can go to several different schools in multiple villages. I also have purchased chalkboard paint to repair and paint new chalkboards for the schools, I will be visiting one of the schools (if I'm lucky more) to help repair the chalkboards and visit with the children.
If you would like to donate or have any questions about donating feel free to e-mail me! Or if you would like more information about sponsoring a child to attend school for the year, suggestions or just comments please e-mail! I want to hear what you have to say

Friday, July 30, 2010

First Container, Packed and Ready!!

I am excited to announce that I have collected enough items to get the very first container packed full of school supplies! Baz & I separated, counted, organized & packed it all away. The containers we are shipping are 50 gallon containers, and do hold a good amount of supplies. I cant say enough how grateful I am for all the donations I have received from all of you very generous people, Thank You!

Above: A picture of the container from a direct view so you can see how tall & wide it is, for a better visual I am 5'2 and the container comes up just shy of my shoulders!

Below: A birds eye view of the packed container.

I had so much fun going through packing the container, I cant wait until we have enough to pack up the 2nd one!! I cant believe how far I have been able to come in such short amount of time, I know this wouldn't be possible without your help, so again, Thank You all so very much!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Off to a good start!

July has set in and back to school sales are already starting!! Walgreen's started off the sales with 10count packs of pens and pencils for only 19cents. So, over the weekend I went out with 3 of my wonderful friends to start stocking up. I have received $20 in cash donations so far (that is not including the raffle at Pizazz It! Scrapbooks) and we used $16 of that cash to purchase some of those items. So far we have collected 50 packs of pencils and 83 packs of pens. If your doing the math I know, I know, that was a bit over the $16 budget, but I couldn't help it, I used my own stash of money that I have set aside for this project to make up for it, the kids deserve it!

I was contacted by a wonderful lady on the north side of Columbus who had some packs of paper that she would like to donate, when I drove there and had seen that there were 5 full boxes of paper packs I couldn't believe it! It was a wonderful surprise. I would like to say THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed in any form so far weather it be giving actual school supplies or clothing, purchasing a raffle ticket or donating cash. It means a lot to me and even more to the children who will be receiving it. Feel free to contact me with any questions you have or if you have anything you would like to donate. or if you just want to donate cash and you are not from around the Ohio area there is a paypal donate button on the right, 100% of money donated goes toward this project and will be for the children in The Gambia. Don't ever feel like any donation is too small, a pack of pencils or a simple $1 makes all the difference!!