Baumholder students help Afghan children smile
January 31, 2012
BAUMHOLDER, Germany - A good will initiative on behalf of children, parents and teachers from the city of Baumholder's Grundschule put smiles on the faces of many children in the faraway Children's Support Center at Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan.
The center received a shipment of toys and clothing donated by children attending Baumholder's German elementary school.
"My children and I have been sending boxes (of toys and clothing) every now and then, and I really liked the idea of involving the Baumholder community. Since our children attend German elementary school, I asked the principal if we could do a toy and clothes drive at the school," said Alexandra Grinston, wife of Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston, 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team command sergeant major.
"Ingrid Salomo, the teacher filling in for the school's principal at the moment, approved our request to hold a toy drive without any hesitation. All the teachers liked the idea and supported the drive," said Grinston.
Grinston coordinated the toy and clothes drive, but then Susanne McAdoo, Esther Kaps and Alexander McAdoo helped box everything up the week before Christmas.
The response from German children and parents was generous and since Grinston had mailed toys and clothes before, parents started giving her toys and clothing whenever they saw her.
"The Baumholder community donated so many toys and clothes for this worthy cause that we were able to fill 15 large boxes," she said.
Grinston received assistance in getting the 15 boxes to Afghanistan from Lt. Col. Sam McAdoo, U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder commander, who helped arrange to get the shipment downrange. McAdoo included a flag from the city of Baumholder in the shipment as a keepsake for the children. "It was nice to experience so much generosity and helpfulness," said Grinston.
Downrange, the toys and clothing were distributed to children in the Mazar-e Sharif Children's Support Center by Col. Patrick Matlock, 170th IBCT commander, Grinston and other members of the 170th IBCT. The center is a temporary home and school for more than 60 children.