'Love South Sudan!' seeks to join Mason community in humanitarian aid effort

Mason student Rebecca Hampson poses with her new, "Love South Sudan!" t-shirt. T-shirts are being sold for $20 to raise money for the humanitarian aid project. (Jake McLernon)

Mason Cru, a Christian ministry organization, and the Global Aid Network (GAIN) are partnering in a humanitarian project, called “Love South Sudan!” The initiative calls upon the Mason community to help create “harvester packets” to send to families in South Sudan.

The event will be held in the HUB (formerly SUB II) on the Fairfax campus from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 20.

The Global Aid Network (GAIN) is a Christian, non-profit, humanitarian aid organization. GAIN works with ministry organizations to facilitate global aid projects.

Mason Cru Director Brett Miller said South Sudan is a nation in great need of help.

“There has been a long conflict [in South Sudan] and since becoming its own country, there is a great need to help displaced families living there,” said Miller.

South Sudan became an independent nation on July 9, 2011.

“Harvester packets” are envelopes containing a variety of vegetable seeds which can be used to create a sustainable farm, said Monica Tindie, GAIN Program Specialist.

Mason Cru and GAIN are asking the Mason community to assist in creating 54,000 seed packets to send to families in South Sudan.

Tindie said GAIN serves countries around the world, taking a “holistic approach” to humanitarian aid.

Our aim is to provide “aid with dignity,” said Tindie. We want to serve “physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

Volunteers are invited to stop by throughout the day Thursday and assist in the packaging process. No sign-ups or time commitments are required.

Miller believes “Love South Sudan!” is a humanitarian initiative that appeals to everyone in the Mason community.

“We really think this is something the whole Mason community can come around,” said Miller. “We’re excited.”

According to Miller, several student organizations have already committed to volunteering with the project and he said he expects around 1,000 student volunteers in total.

Miller believes a big part of the projects appeal is the sustainable aid it provides.

“We knew about GAIN’s seed packing program and wanted to be able to offer something sustainable,” Miller said. “We wanted to be able to address long-term needs.”

T-shirts will also be sold to help raise funds for the effort. Each shirt will be sold for $20, the cost of 40 seed “harvester packs.”

Miller said there are two big ways community members can aid the project prior to volunteering on Oct. 20. The first is to buy a t-shirt and the second is to recruit others to do the same.

“Fifteen of the twenty dollars goes towards purchasing the seeds,” Miller said.

Students and community members are also invited to make monetary donations which can be submitted on the event website at www.lovesouthsudangmu.com.

In addition to facilitating global aid projects domestically, GAIN sends volunteers to countries around the world, helping with the distribution of aid. On their website, GAIN provides links with information about a variety of mission trips.


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