Towles New Tech students pack relief kits to ship to Syrian refugees

Seventh-grade students at Towles New Tech Middle School are sending a little help to children and families affected by the ongoing civil war and refugee crisis in Syria.

The students learned about the history of Syria and the current crisis as part of the project We Are Syria, a Fort Wayne Community Schools news release said. That included a visit from Jim Goetsch, administrative coordinator at the local nonprofit organization Friends of the Poor, who spoke to students about refugees.

Students later packed up 92 Syrian Relief Kits, the news release said. Each kit contains four bars of bath soap, a bottle of shampoo, four bars of laundry soap, a tube of toothpaste, four toothbrushes, four bath towels, two combs, fingernail clippers, a package of bandages and a package of sanitary pads.

Goetsch and Friends of the Poor picked up the kits Thursday afternoon, which is the first step in getting the kits to camps housing Syrian refugees, Goetsch said.

Friends of the Poor will deliver the kits to the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) charity in Goshen, which will ship them to Syria, said Marian Waltz, resource coordinator for Friends of the Poor.

The MCC has staff working with Syrian refugees in the Middle East, so they can get the kits to people in need, Waltz and Goetsch said.

Waltz said Friends of the Third World has been sending relief kits to Syria for three or four years. Students have to follow precisely the list and sizes of items in the kits so they can pass quickly through customs overseas, she added.