You Can Help Displaced Iraqis

There are hundreds of thousands of displaced Iraqis who need clean water, shelter, and basic ammenities.

Cincinnatians can be a part of the relief effort by preparing a special kit or package....and sending it to the Cincinnati Mennonite Fellowship in Oakley.

The world health organization reports a shortage of clean water and electricity in Iraq, and hospitals operating at 50% capacity. Those hospitals are in need of medicine and supplies. And more Iraqi families now added to the estimated 1 million displaced before the war.

"Well I think it basically it breaks your heart to see the suffering there and what the people have to go through," said Jean Swartley of the Cincinnati Mennonite Fellowship in Oakley.

The Mennonite Central Committee has been sending relief to Iraqis after desert storm and the sanctions that followed. Now, it says , the need is greater than ever.

If you'de like to make a relief kit here is what to put inside.

4 bars of bath soap.

1 plastic bottle of shampoo.

10 cups of powdered laundry detergent.

1 tube of toothpaste

4 adult size toothbrushes.

4 new bath towels---not white.

a hairbrush, a wide tooth comb and a fingernail clipper.

1 box of adhesive bandages

and 1 package of sanitary pads.

"It's just such basic things that we take so much for granted, that's why it's so humbling when you get these together." Jean Swartley says sending money is one thing, but preparing a package, allows you to step into the shoes of a suffering Iraqi for just a moment...and realize just what he or she is going through.

"For all of us its going to show the Iraqi people a more positive side of America that we're not just about destruction and war," said Swartley.

If you make a relief kit drop it off just 2 doors down from the Mennonite Fellowship church office in Oakly at 3049 Minot Avenue in Oakley. Its just 2 doors down from the church. If no one is there you can leave it on the porch.

If you don't have time to send a package you can send money to 4229 Brownway Avenue, Cincinnati OH 45209. Label your donation... "Iraq families at risk."

For more information you can call the church at 513 871 0035.