Friday, April 16, 2010
a4A at the University of Alabama at Huntsville
afghans for Afghans has always been very grassroots, and plenty of energetic initiatives by volunteers have contributed to our momentum all these years. Recently, Amanda Banks -- student at the University of Alabama in Huntsville -- put together a booth to promote a4A at her school's community fair on social issues. I thought you would enjoy seeing a photo of Amanda's booth with her helpers.
I love how this came about ... after Nelda Rose bumps into a friend from 20 years ago at an airport -- where Nelda is knitting, naturally -- their mutual friend Professor Rose Norman contacts Nelda in DC to ask whether someone from a4A could be at her school's community fair. Nelda emails me, and, although we don't maintain a database, I searched for "Alabama" in my email files. Voila, up pops Amanda's name, and she happily agrees! We don't get a lot of packages from Alabama, but, but since the beginning, we have had a handful of very dedicated volunteers from Alabama (Birmingham and Fairhope, primarily, both fairly far from Huntsville, as I learned.) So, I was excited to think we would have a presence at this school event in Alabama.
Also interesting, Nelda traveled to Kabul last year as part of her work for the US Dept of Transportation. Nelda tells me that she saw firsthand that life is hard for the Afghans. Rose is chair of the English Department and events coordinator for the Women's Studies program.
Amanda says: "... was a wonderful experience. We had a ton of people stop by the booth, and they left with lots of information, and a few were inspired to take up hook or needles themselves. Everyone that walked by just loved the name as well. It will definitely be on the minds of the community for a while. A few news organizations were present, and one managed to film me explaining the organization to a group of girls."
In the photo, Amanda's friend Denise Cook is on left, and Amanda's mom, Lorri Riley, is on the right. Amanda says she wasn't able to get a photo of herself (I can relate to that).
Thanks, Amanda, for taking the time from your studies and representing a4A so well in your community! Good luck with your studies. Thanks to Nelda and Rose for being super-connectors.
(Photo credit: Rose)