CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Charlottesville-Winneba Foundation (CWF) is facing a problem, but it isn’t all bad news for the group.

CWF says it has many donated items to send to the sister city in Ghana, but it now needs money to pay for the postage.

The foundation has received items from five charity programs, and CWF Executive Director Dave Norris says they are overwhelmed with the generosity of the community.

Norris says they need to ship 30 sets of firefighter gear and 100 bicycles, along with medical supplies and equipment to Winneba. CWF is also shipping books, toys, clothes and supplies for an orphanage. Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker also collected athletic gear for students to use during physical education.

"It's just a huge volume of stuff that we've got to ship over and we have to pay for that shipping cost, and so we are asking the community to consider donating toward that shipping cost," Norris said.

The foundation is raising $5,000. That will cover the cost of getting the items to West Africa, and to the town of Winneba.

Organizers hope to have the money raised in the next few weeks. Click here to make a donation through Paypal.


03/12/2019 Release from the Charlottesville-Winneba Foundation:

Hi all. We at the Charlottesville-Winneba Foundation don't often ask for help, but we have a time-sensitive need that requires us to reach out for support. We have to raise $5,000 in the next few weeks to assist our friends in Winneba, Ghana, and we need your help in doing so!

The good news is that this expense is the result of some incredible generosity on the part of folks here in Charlottesville (including many of you!), who have collected or donated a tremendous array of items for distribution to orphanages, schools, health clinics, youth athletic programs and fire safety professionals in Winneba.

Just a sampling of the amazing collection drives folks have undertaken over the past few months:

1) Charlottesville Firefighter Greg Wright, who participated in the May 2018 delegation to Ghana, learned in Winneba that the city's fire service, with a roster of 30 firefighters, only has 3 complete sets of fire protection gear between them. Not having this gear puts lives at risk and hampers emergency response. So Greg and his colleagues at the Charlottesville Fire Department, working in conjunction with Africa Fire Mission, set out to collect 30 complete sets of fire gear (helmets, fire suits, gloves, boots, etc.) for their peers in Winneba. Wonderful!)

2) Charlottesville resident Myra Anderson, who also traveled to Ghana in May 2018, put a call out for books, toys, school supplies, clothes, etc. for the children of the Rafiki orphanage in Winneba. The response was phenomenal!

3) Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker, in discussing the needs of the Winneba school system with local education officials during the May 2018 trip, learned that Winneba's schools were sorely lacking in athletic gear for their physical education programs. Mayor Walker subsequently put a call out to Charlottesville schools to collect surplus/gently used youth athletic gear and several trunks worth of items resulted.

4) The University of Virginia Medical Center, through its MERCI program, has once again donated a significant amount of medical supplies and equipment (including badly-needed walkers and crutches) to the two medical clinics in Winneba. (Article on MERCI from 2012: https://blog.uvahealth.com/2012/06/19/giving-back-uva-program-finds-a-home-for-unused-medical-supplies)

5) Just recently, Winneba was designated as the newest distribution site for a non-profit organization called Wheels to Africa. Through a partnership between Wheels to Africa and the Charlottesville-Winneba Foundation, 100 donated bicycles will be included in the shipment this spring, to be distributed to children in Winneba to help them in getting to and from school, and to workers for transportation to and from their jobs.

Now it's time to ship all of these items over to Winneba, and given the unprecedented volume of donations this year, the price tag for the shipping and transport costs is much higher than normal. We've identified a couple sources of potential funding to help cover the $5,000 shipping cost, but even if those contributions come through, we would still fall well short of our fundraising goal.

Would you consider donating $20, $50, $100 or more toward this effort? And/or, would you be willing to help spread the word about this fundraising campaign? (We'll be posting about it on social media in the next 24 hours, please share widely!)

Making a contribution is easy. You can donate online via www.paypal.me/cvillewinneba. Or you can send a check to "Charlottesville-Winneba Foundation," 111 Chisholm Place, Charlottesville, VA 22902.

Many, many thanks for any support you can provide. We'd hate to have all these wonderful gifts to deliver but no way to deliver them!