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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Comfort just a box away for Afghan needy

Clockwise from center: Kristen Gregg, project manager, Melita Ramadanovic, Amitra Ramadanovic and Tiffany Milow prepare boxes for collections on NE Campus. The Ambassadors are sponsoring Operation Care to provide clothes, shoes and supplies to Afghan refugees. The items will be flown to the refugees from Fort Worth NAS/JRB.  Photo by Patrick Cusack/The Collegian
Clockwise from center: Kristen Gregg, project manager, Melita Ramadanovic, Amitra Ramadanovic and Tiffany Milow prepare boxes for collections on NE Campus. The Ambassadors are sponsoring Operation Care to provide clothes, shoes and supplies to Afghan refugees. The items will be flown to the refugees from Fort Worth NAS/JRB. Photo by Patrick Cusack/The Collegian

By Gary Collins/ne news editor

Clockwise from center: Kristen Gregg, project manager, Melita Ramadanovic, Amitra Ramadanovic and Tiffany Milow prepare boxes for collections on NE Campus. The Ambassadors are sponsoring Operation Care to provide clothes, shoes and supplies to Afghan refugees. The items will be flown to the refugees from Fort Worth NAS/JRB.  Photo by Patrick Cusack/The Collegian
Clockwise from center: Kristen Gregg, project manager, Melita Ramadanovic, Amitra Ramadanovic and Tiffany Milow prepare boxes for collections on NE Campus. The Ambassadors are sponsoring Operation Care to provide clothes, shoes and supplies to Afghan refugees. The items will be flown to the refugees from Fort Worth NAS/JRB. Photo by Patrick Cusack/The Collegian

The NE Ambassadors have adopted Operation Care as their latest community service challenge: providing necessity items to war refugees in Afghanistan.

TCC is competing against many other schools to get the most donations.

Lisa Uhlir, group sponsor, said the challenge has been issued to area institutions. University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University and Texas Christian University are participating.

Currently, the Ambassadors are seeking new members to help raise donations through Friday, Oct. 26.

Operation Care was organized five years ago by Air Force Reserve Col. Victor Kuchar to take supplies, shoes and clothes to about 2.5 million Afghan refugees.

The idea for Operation Care came to Uhlir, associate government professor, while attending a military dinner. She had been searching for a community service project.

“ I liked the idea and told Lori [Fowler], and the students just ran with it,” Uhlir said. “We chose Operation Care because there is plane leaving from the base [Fort Worth NAS/JRB] in a couple of months.”

Another deciding factor in choosing the project was personal satisfaction for the volunteers.

“ Students are directly involved; they take the boxes, pack them, and they go directly to the people, versus a walkathon or when people send stuff off and don’t really get to feels hands-on or see how they are making a difference,” she said.

So far the Ambassadors have collected enough donations to fill one-and-a half 10-by-10 storage units, amounting to six or seven thousand pieces of clothing, Uhlir said.

The Ambassadors have also branched into to the community.

“ Some people have contacted the board of directors at Goodwill, and they’re trying to collect for us. We now have 22 boxes out in area businesses,” she said. “Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Albertsons have allowed us to place boxes in stores.”

Students currently are collecting items in decorated boxes around campus. The items will be taken to Fort Worth NAS/JRB, where they will be loaded before heading to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.

Once the cargo arrives in Afghanistan, the Air Force will unload and photograph the process, sending pictures back to the Ambassadors.

The Ambassadors are asking for donations of gloves, sweaters, jackets and artificial fire logs for the coming winter.

“ Were trying to fill a C-17,” she said. “That’s our goal—to fill that plane.”

For more information and a list of needed items, go to the Ambassadors’ Web site at www.OCchallenge.org.

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