Local non-profit helps children get schooling - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Local non-profit helps children get schooling

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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) - A non-profit group headquartered in Stevens Point is working to improve life for kids in Central America.

On Thursday volunteers filled hundreds of backpacks with school supplies for children in need.

Colored pencils, scissors, and notebooks are just a few of the items that volunteers with the Wisconsin Nicaragua Partners of the Americas work to collect.

"Anything that a child would use in school," said Amy Wiza, the program director.

The organization has partnerships in 23 Wisconsin cities.

Receiving all kinds of donations, from medical supplies to sewing machines.

Oraganizers say main focus on Thursday was to get school supplies to Nicaragua

"Most of the kids don't get the opportunity to go to school because they don't have the supplies," said Sarah Jisko, Project Coordinator.

That's what volunteers say they are hoping to change.

"The schools in Nicaragua don't have the luxury of providing some of the things that we have here," said Wiza.

In the past year, the non-profit filled 408 backpacks.

This year volunteers say they hope to fill more than 600.

"There are some families who only get to choose one of their children to be able to go to school, could you imagine picking only one of your children to be able to get an education?" said Jisko.

The Central American country recently began opening up libraries for the children in certain areas.

Now the Stevens Point non-profit is sending not only books but entire book cases.

"We have 12 lending libraries and that's something new to the kids down there," said Wiza.

"It just brings tears to your eyes to be able to help so many people so many miles away, it's just amazing," added Jisko.

The organization recently shipped everything from beds and mattresses to medical supplies and playground equipment.

Leaders say the goods were worth nearly $160,000.

Organizers say they hope to send their next shipment out by December.

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