- Last Updated on 07:56 AM 07/12/10
- BY Paula I. Bryant
An act of kindness by United Methodist Women (UMW) of Main Street United Methodist Church recently was rewarded by a gesture that touched the hearts of UMW members.
Earlier this newspaper reported a story about Lt. Amy Zaycek’s efforts to help injured children in Afghanistan.
This past winter, Lt. Zaycek contacted her aunt, Jennifer Mackintosh, who is a member of the UMW sharing stories about the injured children she and other nurses and medics were treating.
Many of these children were innocent victims who had been lured into playing with an IED (Improvised Explosive Device), which often are disguised as toys.
In order for the doctors and nurses to treat the children’s injuries, Lt. Zaycek said they had to tear off their clothing leaving them nothing to wear but
military issued t-shirts.
The shirts were much too large for these small children, and it was almost always impossible to contact the parents of these injured children in order to bring them some clothing due to poor communication capabilities in the war-torn country, she explained.
Mackintosh and other UMW members put their hearts and minds together to help the young ones.
Reasoning that since the proceeds from the annual UMW bake sale is solely used for missions, what better mission could be served than helping needy injured children in Afghanistan.
It was then all agreed to help these needy children by sending them clothing that would fit their children-size bodies.
The UMW shipped a large box of sweat sets, underwear, socks, DVDs, Valentine candy, crayons and coloring books to the foreign country.
Upon its arrival, Captain Robert E. Hersh, MD offered the children new clothes, and as they recuperated from their injuries, they were able to enjoy watching movies on laptop computers.
Recently the UMW received a package from Capt. Hersh which contained an American Flag that had been flown over their medical compound at Camp Dwyer in Afghanistan.
Hersh also sent an official U.S. Marine certificate of recognition and photos of the flag being raised, flown and folded.
In his letter he commented, “Though we are over 7,000 miles from you, all thoughts were with all of the Main Street United Methodist Women as our staff witnessed your flag being elevated, flown and taken down the following day of flying aloft ‘in the face of the enemy.’ I had the distinct honor of folding your flag with our executive officer. I hope you treasure this national insignia as much as I treasure your patriotism and faithfulness to our country.
“The American Flag out here is flown all day for the enemy to see and is only taken down at night because our battle posture precludes us from illuminating it in the dark. It is also used to wrap our fallen Marines for their final trip home.
“Please treasure it, respect it and know that it is at all times worth fighting for.”
Mackintosh praised the community for helping Main Street UMW help these Afghanistan children.
“It is because of the ongoing support we receive from our community at our annual bake sale that we are able to provide for those who are much less fortunate than we are. The UMW of Main Street United Methodist Church looks forward to serving others here in our community, within our state, our country and across the world,” she concluded.