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Students Collect Donations for Nicaraguan Children

Newsome High School students Grayson Myer-Bruce and Mark Burgan are collecting jump ropes, tennis shoes, backpacks and other items for children at the El Ayudante Family Enrichment Center.

Two Newsome High School students are hosting a collection drive for impoverished children in Nicaragua.

Grayson Myer-Bruce and Mark Burgan will head to Leon, Nicaragua, in June to volunteer at a school for children living in extreme poverty, and hope to take items the children desperately need.

Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the world, with 80 percent of the population living on less than $2 a day. Most of the children at the school do not even own shoes, the teens noted. 

Therefore, they are collecting all sizes of new or used tennis shoes in good condition for the youngsters as well as flip-flops or kids' sandals, soccer ball, baseballs, softballs, jump ropes, backpacks, baseball caps, pens and pencils, notebooks and paper.

Donations can be dropped off at Bleu Salon and Spa, 3472 Lithia-Pinecrest Rd., Valrico, , 15280 Fishhawk Blvd, Lithia, and the FishHawk Ranch Tennis Club, 15921 Courtside View Dr. in Lithia, by May 26.

El Ayudante is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to partnering with the Nicaraguan people to transform the nation—one child, one family and one community at a time.

The primary ministry of El Ayudante is to the 25 children and their families served by the Family Enrichment Center. The FEC partners with each child and their family to improve their quality of life and to give them opportunities to rise above poverty and succeed through spiritual nurturing, housing, proper medical care, nutrition and education.

The children arrive at the FEC each weekday at 6 a.m. They are fed breakfast and then bussed to a quality school in Leon. These children return in the afternoon for tutoring, computer lab, counseling and a meal before they head home at 4 p.m. A social worker and psychologist follow up with the children and their families on a regular basis to provide encouragement.

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