Mansfield student’s service project helps at home and afar

MANSFIELD – With the theme of “Together, We Can Make a Difference,” Mansfield University students, led by senior project director Jason White, are collecting clothing, arts and crafts and children’s toys for El Salvador and Tioga County for their Collection Collaboration Campaign.

“The idea for this project came from my Eagle Scout Project with the Boy Scouts of America in 1999,” White said. “For that project, I set up card board boxes as collection centers in local businesses and churches in the area of Troy. With the assistance of friends and family members, I collected 375 coats, 50 pairs of boots and 123 pairs of mittens and gloves, which I then donated to the Salvation Army and the Bridge at the Sayre Baptist Church.”

A Northern Tier native, the connection to El Salvador and the village of San Rafael Tasajera also is personal for White. Daniel Teodoro, a 2014 MU graduate, has done extensive work to help the people of this impoverished island village in his home country through his non-profit EMANA, which means “energia humana” or “human energy.” White travelled to San Rafael Tasajera with Teodoro last summer.

“San Rafael Tasajera is home for more than 1800 people who suffer from a lack of basic education, income, and access to clean water,” White said. “EMANA works alongside community members to address their needs and to develop creative sustainable solutions.”

“This is my last semester as a student at Mansfield University, and I see this project as my last opportunity to make a significant, positive contribution as a student working with fellow students,” he added. “I want use this project to give socially conscious, philanthropic individuals a chance to be part of a project that includes an international team dedicated to helping people in the United States and El Salvador.”

Dennis Miller, Mansfield public relations director, made Teodoro’s work in San Rafael Tasajera the subject of his latest Huffington Post blog, which can be seen at huffingtonpost.com/den nis-miller/boy-saves-island-in-a-mos_b_ 6898862.html.

Donations are being collected until April 17 at the First Citizens Community Bank offices in Mansfield and Troy and at the Mountie Den Campus Bookstore in Alumni Hall at MU.

Warm weather clothing can include shirts, shorts, pants, skirts for adults and children and baby clothes. Also arts and crafts, children’s toys and books are being accepted. These items will donated to villagers in San Rafael Tasajera.

Cold weather clothing being sought are coats, boots, hats, mittens, gloves and scarves. They will be distributed to local charities in Tioga County.

Mansfield students will sort and package the donations as part of the University’s community service day, “The Big Event,” on April 18.

For more information, or to make a large donation, contact White at whiteja03@mounties.mansfield.edu or call MU Community Conduct Officer and Service Coordinator Frank Crofchick at 570-662-4981.

To learn more, go to emanaelsalvador.org/ccc or facebook.com/Emana CCC.