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Archive for Saturday, September 27, 2008

Student starts charity to aid S. Africa

Kansas University sophomore Allyson Shaw, Overland Park, takes a donated printer cartridge from Judy Farmer, office manager in the department of Latin American Studies at a Golden Key International Honor Society table Friday, Sept. 26, 2008 at Wescoe Beach. The money collected by Golden Key for recycling the printer cartridges and old cell phones will benefit a nonprofit called Kansas Africa Relief Inc., which was started by Shawnee senior Hannah Parkinson.

Kansas University sophomore Allyson Shaw, Overland Park, takes a donated printer cartridge from Judy Farmer, office manager in the department of Latin American Studies at a Golden Key International Honor Society table Friday, Sept. 26, 2008 at Wescoe Beach. The money collected by Golden Key for recycling the printer cartridges and old cell phones will benefit a nonprofit called Kansas Africa Relief Inc., which was started by Shawnee senior Hannah Parkinson.

September 27, 2008

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Kansas University student Hannah Parkinson, founder of Kansas Africa Relief Inc., will give a presentation about her nonprofit organization from noon to 1 p.m. Nov. 19 in Kansas Union, Alcove J. It is part of the Ujamaa Brownbag Lecture Series sponsored by the Kansas African Studies Center. Lunch and socializing will be from 11:30 a.m. to noon.

Donations can be made by sending a check payable to Kansas Africa Relief Inc. The address is 1735 W 19th St., Apt. B8, Lawrence, KS 66046.

To learn more, visit the Web site KARelief.com.

Before arriving in South Africa, Kansas University senior Hannah Parkinson said she knew the facts.

¢ Forty percent of the population is living on $1 per day or less.

¢ Life expectancy is about age 43.

¢ Five million people are HIV-positive.

¢ There are about 420,000 children who have lost their parents to AIDS.

But nothing could have prepared Parkinson for what she saw on the bus ride into Cape Town.

"There were just miles and miles of shacks, and by shacks, I mean they found a stick and an old tire and that's what the house is made out of. No exaggeration, they were god-awful homes."

In late May, she was among 60 students who spent two weeks in South Africa as part of the International Scholar Laureate Program. While there, she toured health clinics, orphanages and hospitals.

While medicine and treatments were scarce, Parkinson said she was impressed with the emotional support and education the places were able to provide the patients and, more importantly, residents who don't understand HIV.

"They are teaching people that it's not a great thing, but that you don't have to be socially isolated if you have this," she said.

Back in Lawrence, she couldn't stop thinking about the eye-opening experience.

"I fell in love with South Africa. I just fell in love with the kids that I saw," she said. "I thought those were great places that just needed a little extra help and that I could provide that."

So, she formed a nonprofit organization called Kansas Africa Relief Inc. in July. Its mission is to make a positive difference in South Africa's impoverished communities and medical facilities, primarily through education and financial support.

Parkinson said her ultimate goal would be to raise enough money to send a volunteer to South Africa where they could help in the clinics.

"That's kind of the big goal and that won't happen for a while, I think," she said.

So far, the nonprofit has raised about $1,000.

On Friday, members of the nonprofit and KU's Golden Key International Honor Society collected used cell phones and empty laser and ink jet printer cartridges. The old equipment will be recycled for money, which will be sent to one of three organizations that the nonprofit supports.

Those organizations are the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, which funds field trips, school lunches and education programs; Nkosi's Haven orphanage in Johannesburg; and an AIDS Care Training and Support (ACTS) clinic in rural South Africa near Hazyview.

Parkinson said the organizations have been good about sending her receipts or proof of where the money was spent.

"They've been very good about trying to keep accountability," she said.

Parkinson plans to return to South Africa next September with her fiance, James Benger. They actually are making it part of a honeymoon trip after getting married Sept. 9.

Benger, an assembly technician in Kansas City and a Johnson County Community College student, said Parkinson's enthusiasm has been contagious and he now serves as vice president of the nonprofit's seven-member board.

"I just wanted to do anything I could to help," he said. "The goal is obviously to help out in any way we can."

Benger said Parkinson has put her heart and soul into the organization.

"Every free minute that she has is spent on this nonprofit. I don't know when she finds time to sleep," he said. "She always manages to accomplish everything she sets out for. I have no doubt that she will pull this off."

Comments

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 2 months ago

Marion wrtites:I want you to go find a hungry or needy American kid....Marion,I want you to find something nonnegative from which to derive sustenance. You've seemed hungry for a long time, now.

Sean Livingstone 6 years, 2 months ago

Marion,Yeap, Barack Obama wants to sent $70 billion in foreign aids, but Mccain wants to continue the $100+ billion war in Iraq, and probably provoke another one that may cost $100+ billion more. This is what we call fiscal conservative....

Bubarubu 6 years, 2 months ago

Marion--I'm not disputing the essential facts behind the Zimbabwean situation (though how it de-justifies sending aid to an entire continent is both beyond me, and a separate argument). For people who are less familiar with the recent history in Zimbabwe than you and I are, sending them through to a white supremacist site to educate them is brain-dead. It's a question of methods and evaluating sources.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 2 months ago

It would seem to me that those willing to ( get off their forum-posting duffsand ) make a difference ought to get to decide WHERE to apply the remedy.

allateup 6 years, 2 months ago

you go madmike!! everything you said is awesome!

Bubarubu 6 years, 2 months ago

Marion, did you actually post a link to a white supremacist site to back up a claim? The one formed fromm what used to be called "White Citizens' Councils"? The ADL, SPLC, and NAACP have all condemned it as a racist organization. They have been joined in that condemnation by the Conservative Political Action Conference and a former chairman of the Republican National Committe, lest you think that only "lefties" would oppose such a group.If you posted their link without knowledge of who they were, then let us know and apologize.

Confrontation 6 years, 2 months ago

You often forget that the starving families in South Africa can't sign up for food stamps or welfare handouts. There's no drop-in center or soup kitchen.

Christine Pennewell Davis 6 years, 2 months ago

well mike that is all well and good but one person can do good things in many countries not just their own and one that really should be able to help all of it's citizens. and just so you know I would adopt an american child before going else where madona/angalina I am not, thank god,. by the way you did not answer the question.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 2 months ago

Geez, Marion.. maybe you could get a card at a different library.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 2 months ago

Marion writes:"Why do these people not try "making a difference" at home?"Some of us consider the world to be our home.

dandelion 6 years, 2 months ago

Let's make the executives of these banks so poor they have to live in cardboard boxes. Stop the bailout.

Moonbat 6 years, 2 months ago

Ha, you guys are amazing! I figured there'd be a lot of positive comments on here...but noooo, the negative nannies have come out of the woodwork. God forbid someone try to make a difference in the world. If this student would've started a charity for poor Americans, we'd be hearing comments about how she's just encouraging them to continue being poor. "Don't give 'em money! They'll just ask for more!"I usually think that some of the posters get treated very poorly on this site, but when you guys say things like what you've said on this thread, you deserve all the crap you get!!

davidnta 6 years, 2 months ago

I think that's because White is the hegemonic patriarchal standard for America. That's why you get called racist if you cross that white power line. If you were in Zimbabwe and were all about Black power, that would be racist towards White people and any other minority groups there.Also the fact that whenever I hear or see White power, people are usually waving Nazi flags not too far away. There was an interesting special called American Nazi that aired on the History Channel that documents this concept of White power that you should check out.

Mixolydian 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm proud of you Hannah, and I'm sure the vast majority who read this article are too.Unfreaking believable, the sad little people who take time out of their non-busy day to dump all over a subject like HIV and the decimation of an entire continent and a person standing up to do what ever it is she can to help.I've been to Africa three times and spent a couple weeks working at an orphange there for children who've lost their entire family to HIV. You do get to comment from your little swivel computer chair, but you should know that you have no idea what you're talking about when you post your garbage.And for those who posted and are concerned about the needy here, feel free to drop me a line, I can set you up with several volunteer organizations locally.

Moonbat 6 years, 2 months ago

Marion Lynn (Marion Lynn) says:Why do these people not try "making a difference" at home?----------------------------------------Well, according to the article, this particular person took a trip to South Africa and saw some incredibly poor living conditions, and she felt the need to help in some way. As for the "people" that you refer to in this question, I'm not sure. You don't really believe they hate America, do you?----------------------------------------Do they hate America that much?----------------------------------------Also, I'm sure you didn't mean it Marion, buy you seem to imply that this girl hates America. Personally, I think we should praise anyone that gives to charity. I think this student is a great American, do you Marion??

Christine Pennewell Davis 6 years, 2 months ago

How many people on here have lived or spent any amount of real time in a third world country?Why must people always put people down for trying to something good in the world? The world does not end at the U.S.A. borders.

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