Unselfish Geist Soldier Exemplifies True Spirit of Giving
I believe all soldiers are unselfish if they are serving our country. As the holiday season is quickly approaching, I can’t help but notice one soldier in particular, who reflects the true spirit of giving. Her name is Elizabeth “Beth” Gorenc who grew up in the Geist area, graduating from Hamilton Southeastern High School in 2004. This past July, she was deployed to Iraq.
Recently, Beth sent an unusual email to her mother, Diane Jaicomo, asking for something. Beth wasn’t asking for clothing, homemade cookies, or music CDs for herself. Instead, she was asking to spread the word about a need for humanitarian efforts to help Iraqi orphans and women living in shelters.
Beth informed her mother about a non-profit program called Kids of Iraq that collects and disseminates toys and supplies to local areas of Iraq. Supplies are only delivered when they have enough to warrant a trip to the outlying areas. Unfortunately, the incoming flow of donations is much slower than it has been in the past.
… I don’t know what the economy is like back in Indiana right now and I’m sure people are trying to save money for Christmas, so here is what I want for Christmas (spread the word.) I want people to make donations and help out these orphans and women living in shelters. I’m deployed and have everything that I can think of that I would need, at least until summer when I get home. I want people who ask you what I need, to spend the money they would have spent on sending me stuff, on helping these people instead ….
With regard to this email, Beth’s mother, Diane Jaicomo, writes about her daughter, “As you can read, she is a very generous person and has a heart of gold. I am extremely proud of her and would like to pass this along to help fulfill her wishes. God bless and thank you in advance for your consideration.”
Obviously, most people would agree that Beth exemplifies a person who is more concerned about giving than receiving. Yet, in talking to her, she clearly indicates in her humble demeanor, that she does not wish to be singled out from the many other American soldiers who are also trying to establish a better life for the Iraqi people.
“I am only one portal who gets the message out, representing a much larger group yearning to help improve the lives of Iraqi communities,” says Beth who is with Task Force 38. She continues, “Our soldiers understand we are here (in Iraq) representing America. We are also here to provide assistance for the country we’re in.”
Kids of Iraq was designed to aid underprivileged children who have been surrounded by conflict and are without basic needs. Also, this organization was formed to not only facilitate collecting donations, but also provide these gifts to those who deliver them locally, such as, civilian contractors, and soldiers of the army, navy, air force, and marines.
Located at Joint Base Balad, an air force base north of Baghdad, Beth reminds us that whenever American soldiers have the chance to deliver goods and donations to the civilians, a bond between American troops and Iraqi people is strongly reinforced.
“Eventually I hope to join others on our humanitarian mission, delivering supplies firsthand,” says Beth. “We want to meet the children, see them smile, and show them something different from the negative media shown on the news. We want to create positive memories that are not only left here with these people, but also kept alive in our hearts long after we return home.”
Although all items listed below are needed, the two commodities appreciated most at this time are winter clothes (The desert gets really cold at night especially in winter) and soccer balls. (The kids absolutely love them!)
- Clothing articles – all types, sizes, new or lightly used, especially for winter
- Shoes – all sizes
- Toys – dolls, toy cars, puzzles (Nothing battery operated please)
- Sporting equipment – soccer balls, jump rope, Frisbees
- School supplies – pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks, crayons,scissors, glue, backpacks
- Personal hygiene products – towels, tooth brushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, cleansers, sunscreen lotion (If you send liquid products, please place them in plastic bags to prevent leakage)
Physical items may be sent to this address:
Kids of Iraq
APO, AE 09315
All boxes mailed via the USPS will need a Custom form 2976-A. These forms are readily available at your local Post Office.
Please make monetary donations payable to:
Kids of Iraq
4716 Garnet Way
Cheyenne, WY 82009
To learn more about making donations, or about this organization, visit this website: www.kidsofiraq.com.