‘Ask, and ye shall receive’

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lucy Brady Barbara McCommons and Diane Tate box up school supplies the members of the First Presbyterian Church donated to send to Iraqi school children.| Kendra Bolling/Star-News

Nathaniel Sallans, the son of the church’s pastor Dale Sallans and U.S. Air Force serviceman, is serving in Iraq. A recent letter from Sallans, described the situation that prompted the church’s action.
“While we are on our missions and patrols, we see a lot of children going to their schools, but seldom do we see any of them carrying school supplies,” Sallans wrote. “As you would imagine, without proper supplies, getting an education is very difficult if not impossible.”
Members of the church recently collected everything from folders, glue and pencils to pencil sharpeners, paper and crayons.
Church members Lucy Brady, Diane Tate and Barbara McCommons packed up the supplies to ship to Iraq.
“We are sending these to children 13 and under,” Brady said. “Most people don’t realize that at the age of 13, a young person in Iraq is considered an adult. We are sending supplies along with 59 soccer balls, in hopes that the people of Iraq will see the American military are here to help.”
The soccer balls are also being sent at Sallans’ request.
“Another thing we frequently see on patrol is the children playing with soccer balls that are so worn out they are mostly duct tape,” he said in his letter. “These children are much the same as children we see in our own hometowns, except for most of their lives, they have lived in a war zone. The majority of Iraqi parents, too, are a lot like the folks back home. They want their children to have an education, to be healthy, happy and safe.
“My invitation is for you at home to be a participant in a mission with us. You don’t have to leave home, attend basic training, lug 100 pounds of gear in the sand or put yourselves in harm’s way,” he said. “You can, however, make a positive impact in the lives of Iraqi children and thus, their parents.”
The church sent seven boxes of supplies and eight boxes of soccer balls to Sallans.