The locals in the small community of Buena Vista recently received approximately 450 pounds of donated items sent over in nine suitcases with the Partners for Power team. Wolverine’s Engineering Assistant, Laurie Millen, spearheaded the project, coordinating with the Michigan cooperatives to collect suitcases and items. “I consider it a true privilege to have helped coordinate the humanitarian suitcases for the international trip! I loved working with the scouting group on creating the list of what was needed and then working with the co-op families to fill the suitcases,” stated Millen.

The suitcases were filled with items donated by Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks, Midwest, Wolverine, and Cloverland. Items included: school supplies (scissors, markers, glue sticks, paper, pens/pencils, pads of paper, pencil sharpeners, colored pencils, etc.), flip flops/crock shoes, string bags/sling backpacks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, stuffed animals, sweatshirts/t-shirts of all sizes, small sewing kits, stocking caps, baseball hats, soccer balls, a basketball, a football, several air pumps, extra needles for the air pumps, soccer nets, and basketball nets. “It was like filling an “Operation Christmas Child” shoebox for Samaritan’s Purse – only much larger”, said Millen. “There are so many small things, like crayons, markers and glue sticks, that we take for granted that mean a lot to kids and families that don’t have regular access to those items. You never know what impact or meaning a pair of shoes, a small sewing kit, a sweatshirt, or a stuffed animal will have on someone’s life. I feel that the suitcases were our way of letting the people of Buena Vista know that we care about them.”

A large shipping container was also delivered to Guatemala with larger construction items, and Millen was able to include a basketball backboard, rim and hardware, along with individual pieces of plexiglass, glass cutters, and caulk to replace broken school windows in the village. “I can’t wait to hear the stories and see the pictures when the team returns – it’s an amazing opportunity for all of us to experience whether we are in Guatemala doing the actual work, or back home praying for the safety of our team and the families impacted by the electrification.”