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Guatemalan children receive gifts from Bob Jones language students

Children in Guatemala are receiving more than 250 boxes of gifts and $850 from language students at Bob Jones High School.

Bob Jones language students shipped 250-plus boxes to Guatemala. (Photo contributed)

For 12 years, Lesa M. Clough has coordinated the drive, which combines donations and a Spanish lesson. The recipient organization, Friends of the Children, “started by a local man named Homer Wilson. Unfortunately, he passed away last year,” Clough said.

However, Emylic Brown is continuing Wilson’s legacy. A Guatemala native and now an Alabama resident, Brown was an exchange student at Wilson’s home in Arab many years ago.

Children in the capital, Guatemala City, along with mountainous and rural areas across the country, will receive the boxes from Bob Jones.

Students selected a boy or a girl in a specific age group and donated hygiene items, like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, along with small toys, clothing and school supplies. The Salvation Army will deliver the boxes.

“Students wrapped each box and labeled the outside with the items included,” Clough said. “We make our students write the labeled items in Spanish and include a note in Spanish, wishing the recipient a happy holiday season.” For shipping, they chipped in $5.

Clough feels happy to see her students sharing with others who have so much less. “We are blessed here in the United States,” she said. “Yes, we have poverty but not on the scale that we see in other nations.”

Some children receiving Bob Jones’ donations live and work by collecting recycling items and food in and around the garbage dump of Guatemala City.

Bob Jones sophomore Andre Bone said he cares about the people in Guatemala. “Everyone deserves to have a good Christmas,” Bone said.

Rebekah Verge, also a sophomore, said, “I wanted to make a box because it is better to give than to receive and to help people who have nothing rather than keep things all to ourselves.”

Clough, a National Board Certified Teacher, chairs the world language department and teaches Spanish 2 and 4 at Bob Jones.

For more information, visit friendsofthechildrenal.org.

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