As I write this my wife and mother-in-law are bouncing up and down on garbage bags into which they have stuck the sucking end of a vacuum cleaner.
About a week and a half ago Kristina, my wife, received an email from a friend of ours, Cameo. Cameo has a friend who is currently serving in the U.S. Air Force at an air base in Kyrgyzstan. This friend has the opportunity to get outside the wire at least occasionally and he discovered that children in a nearby orphanage, as well as in the surrounding countryside, were actually succumbing to the cold, dying, for want of blankets and warm clothing. He put the word out through Cameo and others.
I remembered very well, from my own time in Afghanistan, watching in disbelief as the locals walked around the country-side in freezing weather, often through the snow, in nothing but a long shirt and flip-flops, if not barefoot. Kyrgyzstan is north of Afghanistan.
Kris put the word out through her contacts at our children’s elementary and middle schools. Thus was born Operation Warm Babies Kyrgyzstan. She’s spent the last three mornings collecting a mountain of warm clothing donated by families dropping off and picking up their kids from school. At the same time she’s selling cookies donated and baked by volunteers for cash. This money will ship the donated clothing and blankets to the air base.
FYI: The vacuum cleaner reduces the size of the trash bag filled with snivel gear to about a third the original size. At a later date I’ll post exactly how many pounds of snivel gear was collected and shipped.