Megan and Murphy are Maurie Deaton's cats, adopted in Mexico after she fostered them. Their mother was a street cat that survived Hurricane Patricia and kept her four babies safe through 180 km per hour winds — she and two of her kittens were adopted in Mexico after being spayed by Pro Animal Melaque in Melaque, Mexico.

Megan and Murphy are Maurie Deaton's cats, adopted in Mexico after she fostered them. Their mother was a street cat that survived Hurricane Patricia and kept her four babies safe through 180 km per hour winds — she and two of her kittens were adopted in Mexico after being spayed by Pro Animal Melaque in Melaque, Mexico.

Giving back while on vacation

School supplies for kids and rescue supplies for animals are just some of the items Maurie Deaton is collecting to take back to Mexico

If you’re travelling to Mexico for some fun in the sun, some school children and animal rescue groups could use your help.

“Many people aren’t aware that most airlines allow them to bring an extra checked luggage item of humanitarian aid, at no cost,” said Maurie Deaton, who is organizing donations of everything from school supplies to pet toys. “We are collecting these needed items here and are looking for volunteers to transport them to either Manzanillo or Puerto Vallarta.

“The volunteers are involved in packing their humanitarian aid luggage, so they are fully aware of what they are taking with them.”

If you are flying to either resort in Mexico and are willing to take along an extra piece of luggage, then Deaton would like to talk to you. You can either donate the items yourself when you get there or a local volunteer can meet you to pick up the supplies.

There are a number of items that are needed:

New School Supplies:

boxes of crayons (16- pack)

pencil crayons (small packs)

felts (small packs)

pens and pencils

white glue or glue sticks

Books:

Spanish books for any age

Simple picture books that can easily be translated into Spanish

New Personal Hygiene Supplies for Children:

soaps

toothbrushes

tooth paste

dental floss

Children’s Safety and Sports Items:

Bike helmets

Shin, knee, elbow pads

Soccer cleats

Soccer balls

Team uniforms

Animal Rescue Supplies:

collars and leashes, especially small sizes

pet toys, including small stuffed animals, play tunnels, etc.

light-weight pet dishes

puppy training pads

horse halters

soft-sided pet carriers

airline-approved animal crates

“top loading” pet carriers

n veterinary medications, expired for less than a year.

“Last winter, I and some friends and family were able to transport three extra humanitarian aid packages when we flew to Manzanillo,” said Deaton. “It was a lot easier than I had thought it would be. I know that even the small amount that we were able to bring made a big difference.

“I travelled a week after Hurricane Patricia hit and damaged the area between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. I saw that other passengers were also bringing boxes of aid for these hurricane-damaged communities. It was so easy that I thought it would be great if more people could do this, so I decided to see if I could ‘help others to help others.’”

Deaton makes a point of purchasing school supplies when they are on sale, such as during back-to-school sales, finding it most effective to buy the same item in bulk.

“That way you can give all the kids in a class the same thing. It is amazing the feeling you get seeing the smile on the face of a child when you give them a new box of crayons. Do you remember what it is like seeing all those beautiful colours and trying to decide which one to use first?

“We have so much stuff in our homes. I’ve simply been going through my belongings and have collected enough to fill another suitcase.”

Deaton invites people to also make up their own aid packages and donate them locally, wherever they travel. There are always caring organizations who need help.

If you would like to assist Deaton with donating, collecting or transporting humanitarian aid packages, e-mail her at maurie@shaw.ca

 

Vernon Morning Star

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