RHA, Alumna Collect School Supplies for Underprivileged Honduran Children

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

April 22, 2008 – Thanks to a recent Southeast Missouri State University graduate and Southeast’s Residence Hall Association, underprivileged children at the Cofradia Bilingual School in Honduras have received 10 boxes filled with more than 800 school supplies.

The supplies are the result of the observations of Claudia Favre, a December 2007 Southeast graduate and former community advisor in Southeast’s residence halls, who began volunteering at the school this year. Favre, who is spending her time teaching kindergarten there between her graduation from Southeast and entry into graduate school next fall, noticed that the school lacked many school supplies – crayons, paper, pencils, and flashcards — taken for granted in the United States.

Christine Nye, Dearmont Hall director at Southeast, said she learned about the school through Favre and her travel blog she updates online.

“I am constantly amazed at Claudia’s altruism and wanted to find a way to help her in this endeavor,” Nye said. “Working in a residence hall, the answer seemed simple: collect the school supplies my students had lying around and were not using.”

Nye said Favre sent her a “wish list” of items that would be beneficial to the Honduran children and their school. Nye, in turn, dispersed the list to the resident assistants in Dearmont Hall.

“We held a contest to see which floor could collect the most items,” Nye said. “This seemed like an easy task, and I was confident I could fill a box or two of supplies to send to Honduras.”

Because Nye wanted to send a fair amount of school supplies, she implored Southeast’s Residence Hall Association (RHA) to help collect items as well, she said.

“Members of the RHA, instead, pledged to cover the shipping to Honduras, which at the time was estimated to be several hundred dollars,” she said.

Soon, the Towers East and Vandiver Hall got involved and, by the middle of February, more than 800 school supplies had been collected that filled 10 boxes.

“The truly amazing part of this story is the student involvement and the care and thought put into the collection,” Nye said. “I expected half-used pens, pencils and notepads. Instead, I received new boxes of crayons, finger paints, construction paper, bilingual children’s books, flashcards, small toys and more.”

While the goal of collecting a box or two of school supplies was easily surpassed, Nye said she was more impressed with the Southeast students who used their time and money to purchase new items for children they will likely never meet.

“I began amazed by a former student’s altruism and ended amazed by the overwhelming response of current students at Southeast,” she said. “What started out as a small project truly blossomed into a grand scale, and I could not be prouder of the students who helped to make it possible.”

Photo of the Confradia School Children.

Claudia Favre (far left), a recent graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, stands with children from the Confradia Bilingual School in Honduras.