Donors and volunteers are a vital component of our organization. Here are some of the ways in which you can get involved:
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95% of all Donations go Directly to Projects in The Gambia
What your Dollars can Do
General Donation Ideas:
Every year, GambiaHELP sends a container from the US to The Gambia. The following items are sought by GambiaHELP to improve the lives of the Gambian villagers. Items brought to the villages are treasured, as they have, literally, almost nothing. Please know that whatever you donate will be very meaningful in the lives of the villagers.
Items are shipped annually in November.
Many children have no supplies at all
- Bound notebooks or tablets (spiral, tear off, etc.). The students generally lack binders.
- Loose paper in wrappers (for teachers to distribute)
- Pencils and pens
- Rulers, protractors. compasses
- Scissors and glue
- Backpacks for the above
- Treasured: Color pencils, construction paper, crayons
Each year I am struck with the impression of how lucky we are in the US to have ready access to pens, pencils and paper. Gambian children often times beg for pens from strangers and are often challenged to bring these critical learning tools to school. We will collect pens and pencils again for Gambian school children this year. If you are interested in donating these critical tools for Gambian school children – start your collection now and let us know so it can be included in our next container shipment in November.
Almost all classrooms lack teaching aids
- Text books (reading, math, science) (Phonics books are extra special)
- Flash cards, posters
- Teaching aids (almost any kind)
- Blackboards and chalk
- Wall maps, esp. world maps (need not be current)
- Wall photos of educational value (e.g., volcanoes, fish, animals)
- Scissors, staplers, paper cutters
- Treasured: Science equipment
(microscopes, balances, thermometers, skeletons, biology or chemistry wall charts, science demo kits, etc.)
Library Supplies – many schools have no library
- Bookshelves – metal and plastic are best because of termites
- Books (children’s storybooks, reference books, just about any book of potential interest to school aged kids. Please no books on religion, diets, cooking, gardening, or investments) Book Donation Guidelines
- Treasured: Dictionaries and atlases (need not be new)
- Sandals or tennis shoes (flip flops, gel sandals, crocs – prevent hookworm)
- Children’s clothes (summer weight – it’s hot there)
- Toys (cars and trucks, dolls, jump ropes, no batteries or 1000 piece puzzles)
- For women and men: inexpensive jewelry (they love gold-tone) and watches (used are fine)
- Treasured: Any useful solar powered equipment or lights
- Treasured: Soccer balls, soccer shoes, soccer shirts, soccer anything
- Children in The Gambia often live in villages far away from their assigned school. This causes many children to suffer, due to the distances (7-10km) they have to walk to get to school.
- Bicycles can save lost class time, prevent tardiness and improve graduation prospects – to say nothing of saving valuable time that could be used for studying.
- With a small donation, you can have a direct impact on the quality of life these children can enjoy. We believe, and studies have shown, that an educated population is more likely to be employed, have children at a later age, and enjoy improved health status.
- We are looking for bicycle donations (even broken bikes) and funds for bicycle repairs done in The Gambia. If you have bicycles, pumps, helmets or other gear to donate, please let us know. If you know of police departments or other resources that collect unclaimed bicycles, please let us know about that too. Contact Director Shelby Tarutis at shelby@GambiaHELP.org.
- Since many villages do not have reliable electricity, however, they are ingenious at recharging things. Notebook computers are treasured resources for Gambian communities as their batteries can be recharged as needed. We are looking for newer notebook computers in good working order.
- Software for notebook computers is also needed such as Microsoft Office and learn-to-type programs.
- USB flash drives are also useful for porting information to be printed and shared.
- Solar powered equipment or lights
- Medical supplies are urgently needed throughout the Gambia. Please see our list of
Medical Supplies Donation Guidelines.
Sponsor a campaign to collect specific items. Distribute this Needs List to your colleagues – fellow scientists, thinkers, teachers, roofers, parents’ groups, yoga clubs, church groups, CABI parties, etc. Post in common areas kitchens, reception areas, etc. Be sure to list an in-house coordinator and contact information. Place boxes for donations or otherwise communicate where and how people are to place donated items. Call GambiaHELP to arrange a pickup.
Contact schools for end of year books and supplies – your children’s and others. Suggest they collect left over school supplies from departing students –spiral bound notebooks, writing instruments, etc. Text books that will be replaced for the next school year will be greatly appreciated and will likely be the first text books the children have ever seen. Maps and atlases that will be replaced will grace the barren walls of the Gambian schools.
Collect money – all items are shipped by sea van to The Gambia. Each van shipment costs about $8000, door to door. If you wish to take on a specific fund raising project, e.g., a chicken farm, a sewing center, a school, library, solar panel for a village without electricity, a merry-go-round powered well, playground equipment, etc., contact GambiaHELP.
Please contact GambiaHELP for additional information on giving opportunities. firstname.lastname@example.org 206-523-6924.
GambiaHELP is recognized by the IRS as a 501 (c)(3) charitable/educational organization, so your contributions are tax-deductible.