Catholic Daughters, VFW Auxilliary team up to help children in Kosovo

Louise Oleson, Editor
Joyce Kruckenberg, Carol Kuntz and Diane Peyerl represent two local organizations coming together to help the children of Kosovo.

Many families throughout the Lake Region have someone serving in the ND?Army National Guard who is deployed overseas. A number of men and women from Devils Lake and surrounding towns left on a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo in August of 2009.

One of the things that struck many of these local peacekeepers upon arriving in that county was the extreme poverty the people lived with, especially the children. They wrote home to their families here in the Lake Region describing the conditions they’d witnessed and those letters home sparked what has become a joint project between the Catholic Daughters and the VFW?Ladies Auxilliary.

Joyce Kruckenberg, a member of the VFW Auxilliary, said the two groups are gathering warm socks, mittens, hats and scarves to send to the children of Kosovo.

According to Carol Kuntz, who serves as Regent for the local chapter of Catholic Daughters, they see their role as being goodwill ambassadors. They are taking donations of new and gently used warm clothing items, especially mittens and socks.

They are working with a branch of Mother Teresa’s sisters in that country who will be doing the actual distribution.

Diane Peyerl from Penn, whose son is currently stationed in Kosovo, said the weather there is similar to the weather here, although because of the sea, the cold is much more damp than it is in North Dakota. Therefore warm socks and mittens are badly needed.

The local WalMart has donated a number of items that will be sent with the ones gathered at the drop off boxes located at CountryBank USA, the VFW and the lobby of Ramsey Bank.

Donations could also be dropped off at the St. Joseph’s Parish Center, as well.

It costs approximately $50 to mail each box. Each is carefully prepared for shipping by removing all the air from the inner packaging allowing more items to be sent in each box.  Monetary donations to help with mailing costs, would be welcome, as well, Peyerl said.

They have their first box ready for mailing and will be collecting donations until March 30.