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Friday, May 6, 2016

Some gifts last a lifetime

Monday, November 2, 2009

Will Joines is pictured next to a pallet of school supplies that he, along with members of the Cherokee Hy-Vee Distribution Center, gathered together to send to needy children in the war-torn county of Afghanistan. Photo by Mike Leckband
Last week, Cherokee Hy-Vee Distribution Center employee Will Joines sent a special care package to the children of Afghanistan. Well, not just one package but a whole pallet full of packages.

The packages contain school supplies that are so desperately needed in the war torn country.

Joines is a retired Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army Reserve who was stationed with the 482nd Transportation Company based here in Cherokee. Recently, Joines was talking with his former commander and Cherokee area native, Captain Jason Ravnsborg. Ravnsborg, who is currently serving in Afghanistan, told Joines that his current mission is to find and donate school supplies to children in Afghanistan.

After hearing of Ravnsborg's need, Joines talked to his supervisors at Hy-Vee and rounded up more than a ton of theme paper, construction paper, blunt scissors, pens, pencils, color pencils and both white and colored chalk to send to Afghanistan.

There was only one problem, how was he going to ship the pallet of supplies across the world to Afghanistan?

Joines looked into traditional means of shipping and the cost was extremely high. Joines got in to contact with Retired Colonel Gary LaGrange in Fort Riley, Kans. who told Joines if he could get it to Kansas that he could get the pallet on to a Transport Plan to Kandahar, Afghanistan. From there Captain Ravnsborg could pick up the supplies.

Luckily for Joines there was a Hy-Vee store near Fort Riley in Manhattan, Kan. So, from Cherokee the pallet was sent to Manhattan then a short ride to Fort Riley Army Base, and on to Kandahar and some very happy Afghanistan students.

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