Donations headed to Liberia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Donations headed to Liberia

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September 18, 2006

Moultrie--The west African country of Liberia has a long and close relationship with the United States. It was founded by freed American slaves more than 150-years ago.

But it's a desperately poor country with one of the worst unemployment rates in the world and it may need America's help more than ever. South Georgians are stepping up to help.

Pastor Michael Helms is on a mission, giving hope to children attending this school in Liberia. 

"It's going to take help from people like us to help the country get back on its feet," he says.

For thirteen years, a civil war ravaged the country, scarring many of the country's children for life.

"You are having children dealing with the issue of rape. They're dealing with the issue of having people killed," he says.

Nearly 300 students attend Ricks Institute, a Christian school in the poverty stricken country. School in Liberia isn't like school in the U.S. The school's building runs on a generator for electricity, nearby drinking water isn't completely clean, but that's not all:

"In that school, nearly forty percent of the kids from grades eight through twelfth had lost at least one parent in the civil war," he says.

He believes only through education, will these children rise above poverty and illiteracy. Helms along with other members of Trinity Baptist Church in Moultrie are gathering boxes of supplies to donate to the school.

"People are giving school books to us, which is a huge boost, farm equipment," he says.

From school supplies, computers, to even a lawnmower there are more than 200 boxes ready to be shipped to Liberia. And not all of the donations are coming from Georgia.

"We've even had donations come in from Kansas," he says.

Folks there donated these bicycles."Can you imagine kids coming from a radius of five to ten miles to school, some of them having to walk to and from school everyday?" he says.

With the help of these donations, Helms plans to make each students' life a little easier, and provide hope for a brighter future.

"There isn't a kid over there who isn't grateful for what you do for them," he says.

The school still needs other supplies including electric fans, printers, and digital cameras.   For a complete list of the items or to find out how you can donate visit www.trinityofmoultrie.org.

That Moultrie church group will ship the items to Liberia on October 11th.

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