OPERATION: Back to School


I'm a US Army chaplain serving with the 1-227th ARB (Apache helicopter) battalion in Camp Taji, Iraq.  I'm with a committee of Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and contractors who want to have the "biggest" humanitarian event around the base. 

What is TEAM TAJI's OPERATION: Back to School?

It is Camp Taji's service project to help Iraqi schoolchildren get ready for the new school year. 

Who are we?

We are Team Taji.  Military, civilian, and contactor personnel deployed to Camp Taji, Iraq.  We are not affiliated with any organizations (military, religious or otherwise).  We are comprised of Camp Taji volunteers who would like to make a difference in the lives of local Iraqi schoolchildren.

What is our Purpose?
- Help needy Iraqi schoolchildren with "Back to School Kits"
- Show the Iraqi people that Camp Taji truly cares about them
- Demonstrate to the Iraqi children the importance of education
- Continue to enhance our relationship with the Iraqi people.

What is our Goal?
- Unite the people of Team Taji to participate in this community service project
- Make this the "Mother of All" school supply drives! Biggest in the history of OIF!
- Collect over 10,000 "Back to School Kits!"
- Distribute the school kits to needy schoolchildren in rural Iraq
- Have fun while helping the Iraqi schoolchildren and also Make History!

How You Can Get Involved?
- Talk to your unit representative to volunteer
- Through your Family Readiness (or Support) Group, have your family and friends back in the states purchase and send you the needed school supplies no later than 15 October 2009.
- All the department stores in the U.S. are having "back to school" sales right now.  The entire "kit" could be purchased under $8.00.

What Makes Up a Back To School Kit?
- ? 1 Composition Notebook ? 1 Small Box of Colored Pencils (NOT Crayons)
- ? 3  Plain Folders w/ pockets  ? 1 Package of Paper (wide rule) ? 1 Blunt Tip Scissor
- ? 1 Ruler  ?  1 small pencil sharpener  ? 1 large eraser
- ? 1  zipper pencil pouch  ? 1 dozen pencils 

- Please all put these items inside a large 2 gallon size Ziploc bag 
- Please ensure that these items do not have imprinted religious or political messages.
- We also request that all donated items be unused.

Soccer Ball Donation
- Iraqi kids love to play soccer.  We've received numerous inquiries regarding soccer ball donations.  Although the OPERATION:  Back to School drive is focused primarily on school supplies, we welcome donations of soccer balls.  If you would like to donate a soccer ball, please send a small air pump along with the deflated soccer ball and we will distribute them to the schoolchildren.
OPERATION:  Back to School Timeline
- Concept Briefings to Tenant Commanders :  Now
- Form Steering Committee, Collection Committee and Distribution Committee
- Collection Time Period:   Now - 15 October 2009

Main Point of Contact:     Chaplain Christopher Weinrich, 1-227 ARB, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How Can Unit Commanders and Civilian Directors Assist the Project?
- Appoint a unit point of contact to represent your unit. 
- Encourage everyone to participate and to help out needy Iraqi Kids.
- Encourage personnel to get their families involved in the collection.
- Be part of the largest humanitarian project in the AOR!
- Challenge "sister" organization on number of "Back to School" kits collected.
- Provide Operation: Back to School with logistic support.
- Provide advice if you have experience w/ large scale humanitarian projects.

PDF Flyer is located here