If you’re travelling to Mexico for some fun in the sun, some school children and animal rescue groups could use your help.
“Many people aren’t aware that most airlines allow them to bring an extra checked luggage item of humanitarian aid, at no cost,” said Maurie Deaton, who is organizing donations of everything from school supplies to pet toys. “We are collecting these needed items here and are looking for volunteers to transport them to either Manzanillo or Puerto Vallarta.
“The volunteers are involved in packing their humanitarian aid luggage, so they are fully aware of what they are taking with them.”
If you are flying to either resort in Mexico and are willing to take along an extra piece of luggage, then Deaton would like to talk to you. You can either donate the items yourself when you get there or a local volunteer can meet you to pick up the supplies.
There are a number of items that are needed:
New School Supplies:
– boxes of crayons (16- pack)
– pencil crayons (small packs)
– felts (small packs)
– pens and pencils
– white glue or glue sticks
– Spanish books for any age
– Simple picture books that can easily be translated into Spanish
New Personal Hygiene Supplies for Children:
– tooth paste
– dental floss
Children’s Safety and Sports Items:
– Bike helmets
– Shin, knee, elbow pads
– Soccer cleats
– Soccer balls
– Team uniforms
Animal Rescue Supplies:
– collars and leashes, especially small sizes
– pet toys, including small stuffed animals, play tunnels, etc.
– light-weight pet dishes
– puppy training pads
– horse halters
– soft-sided pet carriers
– airline-approved animal crates
– “top loading” pet carriers
n veterinary medications, expired for less than a year.
“Last winter, I and some friends and family were able to transport three extra humanitarian aid packages when we flew to Manzanillo,” said Deaton. “It was a lot easier than I had thought it would be. I know that even the small amount that we were able to bring made a big difference.
“I travelled a week after Hurricane Patricia hit and damaged the area between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. I saw that other passengers were also bringing boxes of aid for these hurricane-damaged communities. It was so easy that I thought it would be great if more people could do this, so I decided to see if I could ‘help others to help others.’”
Deaton makes a point of purchasing school supplies when they are on sale, such as during back-to-school sales, finding it most effective to buy the same item in bulk.
“That way you can give all the kids in a class the same thing. It is amazing the feeling you get seeing the smile on the face of a child when you give them a new box of crayons. Do you remember what it is like seeing all those beautiful colours and trying to decide which one to use first?
“We have so much stuff in our homes. I’ve simply been going through my belongings and have collected enough to fill another suitcase.”
Deaton invites people to also make up their own aid packages and donate them locally, wherever they travel. There are always caring organizations who need help.
If you would like to assist Deaton with donating, collecting or transporting humanitarian aid packages, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org