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Illinois league appeals to nation for Haiti drive
Sister Nellie from the Carmelite Order of the Word holds a tote bag donated by the Illinois Credit Union League for school children in earthquake-devastated Haiti. The league is spearheading the effort to collect bags and school supplies. (Photo provided by the Illinois Credit Union League)
NAPERVILLE, Ill. (9/16/10)--Sept. 20 is the deadline for credit unions and leagues to send tote bags and school supplies to Haiti in a project spearheaded by the Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL). Although it has been almost nine months since a massive 7.0-scale earthquake devastated Haiti, the league, its credit unions and other states have helped out by collecting tote bags and school supplies. The league got involved after a board members, Bob Folgate, discussed a recent mission trip he took to Haiti to help the Carmelite Order of the Word Convent. He had visited Haiti several times, with his last trip occurring during the Jan. 12 earthquake. A conversation about what the league does with tote bags left over from its conferences led to an initiative by ICUL Director of Education Greg Framarin, who gathered the league's tote bags and sent word to education directors at other leagues to see if they could help donate. As a result, school supplies, t-shirts, note pads, stuffed animals and other leftover promo items from several states were shipped to the convent. Most recently, ICUL sent about 200 more bags to aid the effort. Although the bags are for children to hold their school supplies, the desperate situation in Haiti has prompted other uses for the bags, including transporting water and other life necessities. At every major league function, the Illinois league has asked its credit unions if they would donate their bag instead of taking it home. The league said it welcomes other credit unions and leagues to join the effort. The order is accepting donations at any time but will need them by Sept. 20 to include in its fall shipment to Haiti for the current school year. The league said supplies can be sent directly to the Carmelite Community of the Word, 394 Bern Road, Gallitzin, PA 16641.


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