Bryant Middle School students collecting school supplies for orphans in Afghanistan

By Jamie Miller

Bryant Middle School is reaching out to students in an orphanage outside of Kabul, Afghanistan through Operation Outreach Afghanistan. Students from BMS are, “setting up boxes all around the town asking for school supplies such as pencils, paper, erasers and crayons,” Tamra Lambert, Bryant Middle School teacher said.

Lambert is helping to coordinate this outreach along with fellow teacher, Debbie Norris who found out about the Kabul orphanage through her son, Paul David Norris, and her husband who are currently serving in Afghanistan.

“My son was stationed at Camp Phoenix in Kabul, Afghanistan last year. Within just a few days of arriving, he joined the other military volunteers sorting clothes and school supplies donated by Americans ‘back home’ to reach out to the most needy of the Afghani people,” Mrs. Norris said.

The soldiers were gathering and sorting through supplies that day for an orphanage in the area that was expecting a large increase in the number of children they were currently serving.

“I will be thrilled with however much the students and staff collect. The need is so great that any assistance will be appreciated,” Norris said.

Operation Outreach Afghanistan is an organization in Afghanistan that is made up of volunteers from the United States Military and several civilians to help the children and families of the impoverished country. According to, their mission is to “provide supplies to Hospitals, Villages, Orphanages, and Schools in need. Some of the things that Outreach has distributed include food, clothing, school supplies, basic medical items, and, in some cases, we have coordinated medical care with other organizations.”

In Afghanistan, the education of the children is crucial to many opportunities in life, as it is here in the United States. By providing school supplies to the orphans of Kabul, the BMS students are enabling boys and girls across the world to grow up knowing how to read and write and understand the many other concepts of education.

“Educated Afghani young people can think for themselves and can take advantage of opportunities to improve their lives through better jobs and by building a stronger, more accountable government responsive to the needs and demands of its people,” Norris stated.

Along with collecting the school supplies, the students have also participated in three “Hat Days” where students are allowed to wear a hat to school for the day if they donate $1 to help pay for postage to send all of the supplies overseas. Over $600 has already been raised. Any funds that are left over will buy additional supplies.

Norris and Lambert hope that by helping out these less privileged young people, that BMS students will “have a desire to see beyond themselves, open their eyes for those close by and far away who are less fortunate, and search for ways to make a difference, both in school and outside.”

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