SSP3: Tikrit Orphanage
On 23 September, my unit and others hosted the 33 or so kids from the Tikrit orphanage, for a day of playing and food and fun. One of the goals was to round up supplies and stuff needed by the kids for the new school year, plus some of the other fun things kids like. And the visit coincided with Eid al-Fitr, the the holiday marking the end of Ramadan.
With help from Agent 51, aka PFC Merk, I drafted and posted a quick note to the IBOL site a while ago, asking for help with a super secret project. I offered that I needed maybe a dozen volunteers, for a quick turn-around effort, and that if they could help, great, and if they couldn’t, I’d understand.
In typical IBOL fashion, several dozen volunteers responded.
The project? Codenamed Old Mother Hubbard, it was asking people if they could duplicate the IBOL formula — going into their stash and sending a flat-rate USPS box — but with kids things and school things for the orphans. Nothing fancy, nothing elaborate. Just whatever people had handy that they could pass along to some kids in need. The SSP3 stuff would be added into the mix of other stuff being collected by others here at the base, and would hopefully make for a great bunch of stuff for the kids, both to get ready for the school year and to shower them in goodies.
Well, the response was tremendous. Huge. Not just from the SSP3 crew, but from everyone.
I managed to duck out yesterday to see the kids for a while in the morning, and Agent 51 was with them for most all of the day. I saw them again in the late afternoon, as they loaded back onto the buses. Lots of smiles, lots of laughing, lots of good time — kids and adults alike. Agent 51 was the official shutterbug, but I took a few, too.
One last photo. This is all the stuff that would not fit on the bus. I think they’re arranging to deliver this stuff to the orphanage.
To all the SSP3 volunteers, thank you. This was a very cool little side project to help take care of some very cool kids.