abigail cipparone wrote -Abigail Cipparone, Isabella and Leland Hine, and Anyssa Dhaouadi launched a fundraiser called "Packs for Peace." This student fundraiser benefits schools in Palestine -- the Shepherd's Field School and the Roman Catholic school in Bethlehem and a Bedouin school in the Negev. The schools need school supplies and backpacks. The students collect gently used or new backpacks to give to the school children. They seek school supplies that are geared towards ages 5 to16.
During their spring break from April 11 to 21, the students will pack the school supplies and backpacks into their suitcases and travel to Israel and Palestine with the 2013 Tree of Life Journey, a program of the Tree of Life Educational Foundation. The students will join 18 other travelers to visit these schools. They will also meet with those in Israel and Palestine who have distinguished themselves as Jewish, Muslim and Christian voices of conscience and peace. Abigail Cipparone attends the Lyme Old Lyme High School, Anyssa Dhaouadi attends New London Science and Tech High School, Isabella Hine attends the Center School in Old Lyme and Leland Hine attends the Mile Creek School in Old Lyme.
In addition to school supplies and backpacks, Tamer Alshouri, a Palestinian musician and teacher at the Shepherd’s Field School, indicated that his school needs musical instruments. Mr. Alshouri, who performed at the 2012 Tree of Life Conference in Old Lyme with musicians from the Berklee College of Music, suggested a Syrian Qanun for the school. The student travelers are seeking monetary donations to purchase the Syrian Qanun. The instrument costs $1,200.
“During my travels to Palestine last year, I saw how much the children I met appreciate things we find ordinary in the United States, like school supplies, backpacks and musical instruments,” said Abigail Cipparone. “I hope through these gifts from our local community, we can show how much we care about students living in difficult conditions.”
Those who wish to contribute funds to this project should send a check payable to TOLEF and send it to:
Tree of Life Educational Fund
c/o The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme
2 Ferry Road
Old Lyme, CT 06371
Contributors should put in the memo portion of the check: "PACKS FOR PEACE"
All contributions are tax deductible. Backpacks and school supplies can be donated at either the Second Congregational Church of New London or the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.