Patricia Hadsall cleared her garage in Lodi this weekend, hoping to make room for children's clothing she plans to donate to a country more than 10,000 miles away.
Children in Afghanistan need more clothing and school supplies, wrote Hadsall's son, Cpl. Andrew Lowe in an e-mail a week ago.
Lowe, a 20-year-old marine and Lodi native was asked by his lieutenant to tell friends and family that children in Afghanistan are in need of clothing, especially warmer clothes for the freezing winter months, Hadsall said.
"I got to go to the school and hand out school supplies a couple days ago which was really neat," Lowe wrote to his mother in an e-mail on July 18. "These kids here are really grateful of everything you give them."
Hadsall said her son told her that he's been trying to help the many children where his platoon is stationed, near Kandahar, Afghanistan.
There are more than 13.3 million children under the age of 14 living in Afghanistan today, according to the Central Intelligence Agency. These children make up about 44 percent of the country's population, many of which are living in poverty and do not have a sufficient amount of clothing, said Hadsall whose son has been in Afghanistan since the beginning of June.
The end of Hadsall's summer -- before she goes back to work as an English teacher in Stockton -- will be committed to helping the charity that Lowe's lieutenant is organizing, called Afghani Kids of Camp Blessing.
Though Hadsall said she doesn't totally agree with the war in the Middle East, she has learned to deal with her son being there, with the help of this donation project.
"This has definitely given me a different outlook of Andrew," she said. "Helping these kids and stabilizing the government is a tremendous way to channel my fear and anger into a position direction."
She said his efforts to help Afghani children has made her want to take part in this donation project, especially because she's so far away.
"This charity made me realize I can still do something to help," she said.
How to donate to Afghani children at Camp Blessing• Drop off clothes to:
149 S. Wellington Way
Lodi, CA 95242
• Drop off clothes and a monetary donation for shipping
Central Sierra Bank
89 Lakewood Mall
Lodi, CA 95242
• If you'd like to send your donation straight to Cpl.
Andrew Lowe in Afghanistan:
CPL Lowe, A.R.
2/3 Echo Co. Weapons Platoon
Patricia Hadsall said donators are welcome to call her at (209) 339-8057
Hadsall started telling her friends and family about the donation and said many people are already interested in helping Afghani children.
While military men and women like Lowe are helping children in war-stricken countries, many of these soldiers don't get letters, care packages or any sign that people are supporting them, Hadsall said.
"Just writing letters, addressed 'Dear Marine' would make someone so happy," Hadsall said. "A lot of people aren't thinking about these men who are fighting for our country, and I'm sorry to say that, but it's the truth."
Hadsall suggests that with every donation someone decides to give for children in Afghanistan, a letter for soldiers thanking them for their duties could also be given.
"They are doing all they can over there," she said. "And we need to show them we care."
In the mean time, Hadsall said Lowe is waiting to receive some donations for the children he's been interacting with every day.
"I am really beginning to really like a lot of these little rascals," Lowe wrote to Hadsall in a July 18 e-mail. "They are good kids."