Culver’s Leadership Committee for Africa has provided funds to assist The School of St. Jude in Tanzania in caring for its students and families during the coronavirus pandemic. LCA’s contribution is part of campaign that allowed St. Jude to prepare, pack, and deliver 2,000 COVID-19 family care packages to their students and interns.
The Tanzania Drive was the senior service project of Taylor Lewandowski ’21 (Culver) and Paloma Alejandra Guerrero Perez ’21 (Mexico City). They collected financial donations, school supplies, shoes, stationery items, and athletic equipment from students, parents, and faculty and staff. They were also going to serve as the student leaders for the Global Pathways Spring trip to Tanzania.
The original intent was for Team Tanzania to take the donated items on the GPS trip, Guerrero said, and the money collected was going to be used to purchase more items. But when the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of all the GPS trips, the team had to drop that plan.
But, Guerrero said, “When one door closes, another one opens.” When The School of St. Jude told the group about the family care packages “we didn’t hesitate to help.” The $400 raised from the Tanzania Drive was combined with $1,278 from LCA’s recent Penny Wars campaign to assist in purchasing items for the family care packages.
Culver’s funds were combined with other donations to purchase basic hygiene products like bleach, hand sanitizer, and soap. Food items included rice, maize flour, and beans. St. Jude students also received study packs compiled by the school’s staff. Team Tanzania also wrote notes of encouragement to St. Jude students.
The shipment of the donated items will be reworked, Lewandowski said.
St. Jude’s staff wrote a note thanking LCA for its contributions, saying all the donations it has received in recent weeks “was truly a team effort by all, and it will go down in St. Jude’s history as one of our greatest moments of strength and unity.”
Culver was introduced to The School of St. Jude through Evan Heckman ’06. Lewandowski said Heckman is involved with African tourism/experience and has helped LCA with its past GPS trips. LCA last visited Tanzania and The School of St. Jude in 2018.