Reaching Out to Children of Imprisoned Iraqi Women

(This photo is not from the women's prison.) A young Iraqi girl hugs the toys and shoes she received from the Echelon Above Division-Advise and Train team Dec. 16, 2010 at Ur Elementary School near Tallil Air Base, Iraq. Airmen assigned to the EAD-AT team handed out school supplies and toys to more than 70 children. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Chastity Boykin)

Imagine what your childhood was like growing up: playing games, running free outdoors or maybe diving deep into a toy box of goodies. My favorite was a box of blocks.

Now, picture yourself growing up behind bars, no playroom, no running free.

A U.S. Air Force captain currently serving in Iraq and stationed near a women’s prison sent the following message to contacts back in the states:

The children of the prisoners stay with their mothers until they reach the age of eight. As you can imagine, the living conditions in the prison are not ideal. If you are aware of any private organization that would like to collect clothing, toys, schools supplies, baby bottles, or other children’s supplies … contact me.

The MacDill Enlisted Spouses Club is serving as the contact point for any organization interested in helping.

Utilitarian item are welcomed like baby bottles and clothing, but you’re also encouraged to send school supplies and toys. Imagine what would entertain your 6-year-old: coloring books (be careful that the images do not offend religious sensibilities), crayons, games, puzzles, bubbles .

As far as the ESC is aware, these children do not have much and are overlooked by many. So any contributions are welcomed.

The goal is to have donations collected, packed and mailed out by 1 June. The contact person for the MacDill ESC: Angie Smith, 8404 Roy Hooe Ct.
, Tampa, FL 33621. Her phone: 813-374-7157. You’ve got less than three weeks before items are shipped.

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