By Brooke Stevenson
A Seymour High School club is gathering donations to aid a local organization’s relief effort in Haiti.
The school’s International Club is currently collecting items for the Remote Area Medical (RAM) Volunteer Corps in Knoxville.
The organization is a non-profit, volunteer airborne relief corps that provides free health care, dental care, eye care, veterinary services, and technical and educational assistance to people in remote areas of the United States and the world.
RAM is a publicly supported all-volunteer charitable organization. Volunteer doctors, nurses, pilots, veterinarians and support workers participate in expeditions at their own expense. Medical supplies, medicines, facilities and vehicles are donated.
RAM’s Knoxville base has already flown one shipment of medical supplies to Haiti, and the International Club hopes to gather enough supplies to send with the next shipment.
“We will be taking items over as soon as we get a good supply,” said Seymour High School Teacher and club sponsor Joyce McFall. “We welcome any help that the community can give us.”
The items the club is collecting are aspirin, ibuprofen/Tylenol, anti-diarrhea medication, anti-itch cream, Vaseline, Neosporin, Ace Bandages, Ziplock bags, alcohol in plastic bottles, cotton dish towels, non-medicated eye drops, gauze pads, bandages, and flashlights and headlamps with batteries.
McFall said residents who wish to donate items through the International Club can drop them off at the front office of the high school, 732 Boyds Creek Highway.
“If people want to leave their name and address we will write them a nice thank you note,” she added.
International Club members are students with interests in foreign cultures, so they felt they should do their part to contribute to the Haiti relief effort.
“We’ve put the list of items up on a big bulletin board and I emailed it to all the teachers so other students could contribute even if they aren’t in the club,” McFall said. “It is really a school-wide effort.”
The decision to donate to RAM was an easy one for the International Club, according to McFall, who co-sponsors the club with fellow teacher Rayanne Barnett.
“It was something that was local and we knew that our donations would go straight to the victims,” she said. “Sometimes when you donate money to some causes they use a lot of it for administrative purposes and you’re not sure if it goes directly to the people.
“With RAM we are sure it all goes directly to Haiti and the people that need it.”
Donations to support the work of RAM volunteers can be mailed to: Remote Area Medial Foundation, 1834 Beech Street, Knoxville, TN 37920. To make a donation by phone, call (865) 579-1530.
To learn more about RAM, to follow the team’s progress in Haiti, or to make a donation online, go to ramusa.org.
Seymour Student Club Helps Gives Back
By Brooke Stevenson