September 10, 2003 - The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star: PCV Beth Merchent receives crafts for children in Moldova

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Moldova: Peace Corps Moldova : The Peace Corps in Moldova: September 10, 2003 - The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star: PCV Beth Merchent receives crafts for children in Moldova

By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 11:08 pm: Edit Post

PCV Beth Merchent receives crafts for children in Moldova

PCV Beth Merchent receives crafts for children in Moldova

Cub Scout pack sends crafts, T-shirts to Moldovan children

Pack 1410 Cub Scouts enjoy the hot summer day at the Aquia Scout Summer Day Camp.

Click for larger photo.

Cub Scout pack sends crafts, T-shirts to Moldova


Date published: 9/10/2003

Fredericksburg, Virginia - More than two dozen orphans from Moldova are in the midst of an almost three-week visit to the area.

But this isn't the first time that Stafford County has had a link to children from that former Soviet Union country.

Thom Savage and the Cub Scouts from Pack 1410 have had a yearlong association with children in Moldova.

It all started with a story in the summer of 2002 about a Stafford woman heading to Moldova as part of the Peace Corps.

Savage, who knew about Peace Corps volunteer Beth Merchent, learned that the children in Moldova had very few toys or special things.

At about the same time, Savage's 9-year-old son attended a Cub Scout day camp that provided yet another T-shirt, yet another mug and yet another hat.

"What a waste to add the camp shirts, hats and cups to our already overflowing closets," Savage wrote in an e-mail.

That sparked an idea.

Savage got in touch with Merchent and asked if she'd be interested in all the specialized camp gear as well as some craft supplies.

"Believe it or not, popsicle sticks and plastic beads are not available in Moldova [lots and lots of vodka and cognac, but limited craft supplies.]," Merchent wrote to Savage.

In addition to the camp-logoed doodads, Savage figured they would also send a few Cub Scout craft kits. Then the Aquia District Summer Day Camp 2003 jumped on board as well, donating all its leftover craft supplies. "It kinda got bigger than anticipated," Savage said in a phone interview.

The expected 15-pound care package turned into 104 pounds, Savage said.

And when it all arrived in Moldova, it was greeted with glee.

"The camp is a huge success," Merchent wrote to Savage. "I am thrilled. The T-shirts are a hit, as well as the craft items. Those projects are like 'toys' to these children, so they are just elated. It is very humbling to see."

While Savage doesn't have any plans to repeat the project, he does agree it was a great success.

"It was a great situation where we were able to do some recycling, we were able to involve children, able to help out in an international aid effort, and able to make some kids smile."

To reach ANNETTE JONES: 540/368-5046

Date published: 9/10/2003

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Story Source: The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Moldova



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