In April, Westside Neighborhood School played host to a school-wide school supply drive to (WNS) benefit the charity, Kids for Laos Orphans (KiLO). KiLO is the brainchild of WNS middle school students and brothers Andrew, Matthew, and William Liner. After visiting the Luang Prabang Orphanage in Laos during the summer of 2013, the brothers decided they wanted to give back to the orphans they met and created KiLO as a means to help. While most of KiLO’s activities have revolved around raising money for a new bathroom facility for the orphanage, the boys hoped to engage their peers in a different way. With the support of WNS, they initiated a school-wide drive and asked other students to donate new school supplies to the boys and girls at the orphanage.

The brothers made several presentations at WNS morning assemblies and the WNS community responded by donating nearly 100 pounds of school supplies to KiLO. The next challenge was finding a way to get all the school supplies that had been donated to the orphanage. Josiah Cameron, a WNS social studies teacher and service learning coordinator, who has long supported the boys in their service pursuit, volunteered to bring the supplies to the orphanage during his travels this past summer. Cameron arrived at the Laos orphanage and distributed all the items that the WNS community had donated.

“I was incredibly happy to deliver the school supplies donated by the WNS community to the orphanage in Laos. Andrew, Matthew, and William Liner hosted a very successful campaign to collect school supplies for the orphanage. Getting them over to Laos was a bit of a challenge…I ended up needing to divide the supplies into two suitcases! But, in the end, it was absolutely worth it. I am happy to know that the supplies that the WNS community donated are helping the orphans in Laos reach their educational goals.”

If you are interested in learning more about WNS or KiLO, visit www.wnsk8.com or visit www.kids4laos.org.