Lake Magdalene Elementary school supplies drive

Ms. Chappell with one of her students moving some of the donations to the van so they can start the journey to Afghanistan.

Rex is out on a mission so I am taking the opportunity to say “thanks” to some very special young people here in Tampa with the Hillsborough County Public Schools.

A few weeks ago I had the chance to go visit with third, fourth and fifth graders at Lake Magdalene Elementary School in North Tampa. Catherine Chappell, a third-grade teacher there, had gotten in touch with us back in November because she and the kids in her KICS (Kids into Community Service) Club wanted to participate in Rex’s “School Supplies for Afghan Children” project. After presenting the project to the school’s community service group, the kids threw themselves into the project and quickly collected a mountain of donations thanks to a special public service announcement.

Michael Mohammadi, the driving force and designer behind the cartoon PSA

This cartoon was created by Michael Mohammadi (who proudly describes himself as American, Iranian and Pakistani) with his father to be played on the Lake Magdalene morning announcements. In the video the cartoon character talks about the importance of the school supplies drive and what supplies are needed.

Helping to pack donations.

The joint work of all the KICS Cub members resulted in hundreds of donated items. What was so heart warming about these donations was the fact that many of the students had decided to give up some of their own toys, books, stuffed animals and school supplies. Such giving spirits!

KICS Club members

More packing!

Once packed, they filled up 19 U.S. Postal Service large flat rate boxes. And when Rex checked his arriving materials earlier this week, all the boxes from Lake Magdalene had arrived to Rex’s camp on the mail truck. They will now be sorted by the members of Rex’s team and then handed out in March when schools are back in session in Afghanistan.

Lake Magdalene Elementary's school supplies donations arriving at Rex's camp.

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