By NICK YAMASHITA
Moapa Valley Progress
Imagine that you are within the sanctity of your own home, living your life when suddenly chaos erupts all around you. Noises of hatred, harm and violence surround you and alarm your family. Then your home is engulfed in flames, your friends and members of your family are left breathless, with other atrocities just occurred.
This is what many of the benefactors of the Lighthouse Charities organization have witnessed within their recent past. These people are refugees from violence that is occurring in different parts of the world and most recently in Syria. They are brought to America to find safety and start anew. Many come with absolutely nothing to help them survive and rebuild a life for themselves and their families.
Last month, Moapa Valley residents mobilized to this cause. Under the direction of Logandale resident Erika Whitmore, donations were gathered from far and wide throughout the community. People donated all kinds of school supplies including pencils, notebooks, pens, scissors, glue, calculators and other tools needed for elementary, middle school, high school and even college.
Then a group of local adults brought their children and gathered on Monday, July 30, to put everything together. The group assembled no less than 59 backpacks full of school supplies for downtrodden refugee families in the southern Nevada region. These supplies were meant to help the refugee children to start again in a new school and a new land where they are strangers.
Whitmore stated how grateful she was that so many local people helped and donated for this essential cause. She also talked about how grateful the people are that receive these donations and how much praise that the staff at Lighthouse Charities have for Moapa Valley and its residents for these types of projects.
A few days after the assembly group had met, Whitmore loaded up the backpacks and delivered them to the Lighthouse Charities facility in Las Vegas.
It was during an ongoing English language class, that a few refugee mothers took a break to pick out backpacks for their children from Whitmore’s delivery.
Lighthouse Charities is based in North Las Vegas. The non-profit organization provides necessary items to at-risk families while they learn to become self-reliant in their new home country.
The organization does that in several ways. These include providing English Language classes, job placement, food supply, clothing and more.
The group also offers a project which gives refugee women the opportunity to work by making homemade products that are then consigned out to the Lighthouse Charities boutique, partnered vendors and online.
Finally, refugee scholarships and educational opportunities are also available to these needy families as well as social support and activities.
Lighthouse Charities is always looking for more volunteers. If interested, please contact Director Cindy Trussel at Lighthouse Charities. You can contact the organization and find out more information by visiting their website at www.lighthousecharities.net.