The students at Holy Cross Catholic School are helping Dr. Chad Zehms, a Navy serviceman with ties to Northeast Wisconsin, in his efforts to help the children of Kunduz Afghanistan. Holy Cross students have been raising money and collecting supplies throughout the months of November and December to ship to a local school there, which is currently housed in tents. The students have raised enough money to purchase nearly 400 yards of fleece material (or nearly the length of four football fields.) All 198 Holy Cross students (grades 4K-8) will assemble and pack fleece tie blankets in the school gym (3002 Bay Settlement Road in Green Bay) on Friday, December 10 at 12:45 PM. They will also be packaging and sending basic school supplies. Dr. Zehms will kick-off the all school assembly live from Afghanistan via Skype at 12:45 PM.
“We are excited about this project for a number of reasons,” commented Holy Cross Principal Robin Jo Jensen. “In talking with Dr. Zehms, we’ve learned a lot about the enormous need of the people in Kunduz, so this gives our students an opportunity to have a big impact. And, thanks to current technology, we can actually show our students how their efforts are making a difference. We believe everybody has the opportunity and ability to make a positive difference, in peace or war, right here in Green Bay or in another part of the world. This project is really bringing that home for our students.”
The sixth and seventh grade classes and their teachers have been organizing the school’s efforts.
Dr. Zehms is an orthopedic surgeon with the rank of lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy. He is serving in Kunduz, Afghanistan, providing medical care to troops serving there as well as local Afghanis. Zehms said that Afghanis in his region live in extreme poverty and have limited access to medical care. Zehms, who is the uncle of two HCCS students, said his tour of duty in Afghanistan will last until late March or early April. He will serve in the U.S. Navy until 2012 and then will return to his hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin to work as an orthopedic surgeon with Prevea Health.
What the community can do
Efforts are underway to construct a school for the children of Kunduz. Funding for the school itself is complete, but they still lack basic school supplies to fill it. Holy Cross Catholic School is currently accepting school supplies: paper, pencils, crayons, markers, erasers, plain notebooks, and fleece tie blankets to send to Kunduz. They are also accepting cash donations to cover postage cost. Any additional funds collected will be sent to Kunduz for the purchase of additional large item school supplies there.
About Holy Cross Catholic School
Located on the growing northeast side of Green Bay at the historic crossroads of Church and Bay Settlement Roads, Holy Cross Catholic School is the point at which faith, community and education converge. The school educates children within the Catholic faith and provides them with opportunities to develop the values, attitudes and skills that will enable them to become vital members of the community. Holy Cross Catholic School has been in existence for 142 years and has an enrollment of 208 students in grades EC3 to 8th grade. For more information, please visit the school's website: http://www.holycrossfamily.org/.
Press PLAY to see conditions at the current school in Kunduz.