Stevens Point group packs donations for Nicaragua - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Stevens Point group packs donations for Nicaragua

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 STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -- Central Wisconsin is making a difference in the lives of people more than 3,000 miles away.

The Wisconsin Nicaragua Partners packed boxes Thursday with everything from sports equipment to medical supplies.

"Today's a good day to be inside packing and helping other people out," said Amy Wiza, the organization's executive director.

There's a lot to be done to get a shipment of donations ready to be sent to Central America.

"We have bicycles, we have sports equipment, sewing machines, fabric, school supplies," Wiza said.

For almost 50 years, a bond has been forged between the people of Nicaragua and the communities of central Wisconsin.

Twice a year, the Partners send the stuffed containers on the 3,300-mile trip.

"They don't have a lot there," said Lynn Sundell of Wausau. "It's a poor country, a third world country, and they don't have a lot of material things."

Organizers say it's on packing days when you see how much people care.

"I think there's a genuine desire, if you have the capability, to help someone if you can," said Wiza.

The Partners work with Nicaraguans to make sure the items get distributed to the people who need them.

Take the case of the bookshelves from a Stevens Point bookstore.

"We have 20 lending libraries in Nicaragua so they donated all the bookshelves to us and yesterday, I just got photos back of all the bookshelves filled with books," Wiza said.

Several of the volunteers have been there when the shipments get delivered.

"Many of the women will bless you with the cross," said Steve McCabe of Marshfield. "The men will pump your hand as though they're pumping water. Their face just lights up."

"It was the first time I was in a country like that and saw what I saw," Sundell said. "I wish I could take all my grandchildren and show them how lucky they are."

Between the mountains of boxes and rolls of packing tape, it's hard to miss the generosity of spirit.

The Wisconsin Nicaragua Partners will send their next shipment to Nicaragua in October.

If you'd like to get involved, you can visit the Partners' website at
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