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Bristow Teams Up with Local School for “Texas to Tanzania” Fundraising Project

June 05, 2014

Since graduating from the Emery Weiner School in Houston, Texas in 2009, Mandy Stein has been on a mission to improve the lives of people all across the world. Today, Stein lives with 96 Tuleeni orphans and an orphanage mother in a remote village in Northern Tanzania.

Over the past few months, an eighth grade class of students from her alma mater have been collecting supplies and raising money to benefit the orphans that she is working to support. They have nicknamed the project, "Texas to Tanzania."

Bristow, together with Ceva Logistics, has committed to pay the total costs of shipping the collected supplies. The money originally raised by the students to cover the shipping will now benefit the orphans directly. Bristow has also agreed to make a donation matching the student's fundraising total.

“From the moment that I met these children three years ago, they stole my heart and my life was forever changed.”

This week, employees from Bristow's Other International Business Unit (OIBU) arranged for the supplies to be picked up from the school and brought back to the Bristow Corporate office so that shipping to Tanzania can be coordinated. Employees in the Corporate office have rallied around the project and are actively collecting additional supplies to add to the shipment before it is picked up for delivery next week.

The initiative was originally focused solely on the orphans, but with the increased contributions has been extended to benefit the entire village.

"When we first started fundraising for this project, we envisioned a self-sustainable home that would have enough space for all our children to live comfortably in. However, with the village of Uru being home to about 10,000 Africans, we saw an incredible opportunity that could aid a much larger population than just our children," Stein explains.

"We altered our original blueprints, which featured a one-story home for the children, to include a second floor filled with classrooms, a library and a computer lab that will serve as an interactive community center for the village. We will be able to offer a wide variety of outreach programs to help promote a self-sustainable lifestyle through creativity, education, and most importantly, working together to build for a brighter future for our children."

In thanking everyone involved, Stein said: "From the moment that I met these children three years ago, they stole my heart and my life was forever changed. Since that day, I have wanted nothing more than to be able to make all their dreams come true and more importantly, to be able to give them the life that each of them so deeply deserve- thanks to all of you and your huge hearts, dedication, and hard work."

In recognition of the initiative, both Bristow and the students will have their names engraved on individual bricks and will be featured in the "Donor Wall of Fame" at the new center.

Photo: OIBU HR Manager Joanetta Fields van Rijn and OIBU Deployment Manager Clayton Ray