Every school year, families stock up on notebooks, folders, pens and pencils. Paterja Lo of Wausau has many pencils at home and at school, but probably not as much as Olivia Heuser, whose collection has grown to more than 1,000 pencils.
So when the opportunity arose to help children in Laos who owned just one or two, Olivia, Paterja and their families wanted to help.
The collection at the parish of St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Wausau was overwhelming. In less than one week, more than 100 pounds of school supplies were brought in.
Two equally heavy suitcases full of number 2 pencils, blue and black pens, markers and even sharpeners. It made the journey from CWA to the LPDR.
The recipients would be the children in the schools in which the People to People Project funded.
In February of 2011, the organization visited the children and delivered the gifts by hand. And right before their eyes, their school supplies grew from a thin notebook and a writing utensil to a long list of tools the children can use to learn. And at its full cost per child would probably exceed a family’s annual income.
And when we returned to St. Anne’s parish a few weeks later, these children and their families were able to see where their donations went and the reaction to their generosity.