COTN Sends One Million Meals to Orphans in Sierra Leone and the Dominican Republic

    Silverdale, WA – June 1, 2009 – Meals on wheels? How about meals on propellers! Right this very moment, thanks to the effort of THOUSANDS of volunteers, Children of the Nations, has over ONE MILLION meals on the water en route to our children in Africa and the Dominican Republic! 1,086,000 meals to be exact!

    “We've have been working hard to connect churches, community groups, individuals and schools to our children through packaging food," says COTN staff Dave Spoon, Washington State Feeding Coordinator. "We are in contact with many future partners who understand what we are doing and they are excited to package meals to help save our children. One million meals is just the start!”

    Where did all the meals come from?

    • 231,000 meals packaged at COTN food-packaging events held at various schools, churches, and civic organizations over the last year.
    • 285,000 meals packaged at the Seattle, Washington “285K Meal Marathon” held May 2nd at Mill Creek Foursquare Church in Lynnwood, Washington.
    • 285,000 meals packaged at the Silverdale, Washington “285K Meal Marathon” held May 15th at Silverdale United Methodist Church.
    • 285,000 meals (a full 40-ft. container) donated by COTN partner, Kids Against Hunger.

    Where are all these meals going?

    • One 40-ft. container containing 285,000 meals (packaged at the Seattle Meal Marathon) and two pallets of supplies (Bibles, clothing, etc.) is en route to Sierra Leone, thanks to reduced-priced shipping provided by Expeditors International. The container will be very well-traveled by the time it reaches our children. Currently somewhere on the Pacific Ocean en route to Japan, it will make port stops in Canada, Japan, China, Malaysia, and Egypt, before going through the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, and the Mediterranean. It will change ships in Algeciras, Spain, where it will go through the Strait of Gibraltar, and down the west coast of Africa to arrive in Freetown on July 5th.
    • The 285,000 meals packaged at the Silverdale Meal Marathon along with two pallets of supplies and two washing machines are currently en route to our children in the Dominican Republic, via the Caribbean Sea, also at reduced ocean shipping provided by Expeditors International. The container will arrive at the capital of Santo Domingo in early July where it will be trucked inland to our ministry site in Barahona.
    • Three 40-ft. containers, one containing 285,000 meals donated by COTN partner, Kids Against Hunger out of Minnesota, and two containing miscellaneous supplies and 231,000 meals packaged at various COTN food-packaging events are currently on the water en route to Mozambique on the east coast of Africa where they will be trucked inland to Malawi. All three containers are expected to arrive in Malawi mid-June.

    "This marks the first time in the history of Children of the Nations that we have shipped one million meals to our countries all at one time,” says COTN staff Fraser Ratzlaff, Seattle Feeding Coordinator. “Thanks to the generosity of the thousands of volunteers who donated the funds to pay for the food and packaged these meals, and thanks to our partnership with Kids Against Hunger, who donated a whole container of 285,000 meals, we will be able to feed more children in 2009 than ever before! It is amazing to see what can happen when local communities rally together to make a difference, even half-way around the world."

    Dave Schertzer, COTN–USA Resource Director reflects, "It is a testimony to all of our COTN donors, container loading volunteers and God's provision of affordable shipping that we could make this happen. We have already surpassed our best shipping year by 35%, and by December we should double last year's shipping totals."

    About Children of the Nations

    Children of the Nations (COTN) is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising children who transform nations. Founded in 1995, the organization currently provides holistic care to orphaned and destitute children in Sierra Leone, Malawi, Uganda, and the Dominican Republic. By partnering with nationals, they establish full-care residential Children’s Homes (for orphans) and Village Partnership Programs (to benefit children living with destitute families or caregivers who are unable to properly provide for them). The programs and services they provide include education, feeding centers, medical services, and community development initiatives such as agriculture, sanitation projects, micro-enterprise, and much more. Children of the Nations believes that true, lasting, and meaningful change begins with the children, and so they are their mission. Children of the Nations stands apart from other organizations in their goal, not to provide relief, but rather to come alongside nationals, empowering them to a life of self-sustainability. For more information, visit www.cotni.org.

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    Contact:
    Pam Wright, Communications Director
    Children of the Nations – USA
    pamwright@cotni.org
    360-698-7227