The program partners with
the military to bring basic supplies
to poor children.
By ANGIE SCHMITT
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
VIENNA — As early as tomorrow afternoon, poor children in Honduras will sit at desks donated by the Austintown school district.
They will be treated in hospital beds donated by Youngstown-based Source Products. Their cupboards will be stocked with rice, beans and oatmeal, thanks to Mahoning Valley food suppliers.
On Monday, a C-130 cargo plane, packed with gifts from the Mahoning Valley, set off for the jungles of Honduras.
The effort is thanks to the nonprofit organization Mission of Love and the 910th Airlift Wing in Vienna Township.
Monday’s shipment is the 45th delivery by Mission of Love since it was founded by Kathleen Price. The aid organization is based in Austintown.
In 19 years, the organization has delivered 22 million pounds of supplies, mostly educational and medical, to impoverished children and families in the U.S. and abroad.
Monday’s shipment carried 18,000 pounds of aid from the Youngstown Air Reserve Station to an indigenous Indian tribe in Honduras.
“This will be the first of probably five airlifts to that area because we’re supplying a whole hospital and a school,” said Price.
After Hurricane Katrina, the organization constructed seven homes for displaced families.
This year, the organization built the first Lakota language school at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Every shipment Mission of Love makes arrives care of the military. The organization is a leading beneficiary of the Denton Program, which allows unused cargo space in military aircraft to be filled with humanitarian aid supplies.
The Denton Program, along with an all-volunteer staff, helps keep Price’s costs low.
“For every dollar donated, we can donate $122 of services,” Price said.
Price’s fundraising is limited to calls she makes to prospective donors. She receives very few refusals, she said. Soliciting donated goods is a major aspect of her efforts.
This Christmas season, there will be many children grateful for that generosity, Price said.
The 4,200 families that will be the beneficiaries of her latest shipment live in huts, bathe in streams and lack the most basic educational tools such as pencils and paper, Price said.
“There’s no electricity, there’s no power,” she said. “Oatmeal, beans and rice — they’re like gold to them.”
To donate to the Mission of Love visit missionoflove.org or call (330) 793-2388.