The UConn Alumni Association has begun a donation drive to collect LED flashlights for schoolchildren in Chile. The flashlights will help children find their way around the dark streets of neighborhoods that still lack reliable electrical power following the country’s February earthquake.
Paul Fuentes, a 2004 UConn graduate and the Alumni Association’s International Ambassador in the Maule region of Chile, reports he and his family were not adversely affected by the earthquake. But, he says, the area’s electrical system is still prone to extended blackouts.
“We are facing a sensitive electrical system due to damaged units from the quake,” he says. “The darkness has created a sense of insecurity for people, especially the children.”
Because some damaged school buildings are being demolished, children are sharing school buildings, and as a result, many classes are being held until 9 p.m. Chile is entering its winter months and experiencing fewer daylight hours, so many children now have to walk home from school in the dark.
In response, Fuentes is leading an effort to provide flashlights to the children and teachers of the area. The Alumni Association requests donations from the UConn community in the form of:
- Small LED flashlights, with batteries included, such as the Mini Maglite LED, or the Energizer LED Metal Flashlight, that can be easily held by children.
- Monetary donations toward the cost of shipping and the purchase of additional flashlights. Please make check payable to the UConn Alumni Association.
Drop-off locations for donations include:
Alumni Association, 2384 Alumni Drive
or the Community Outreach Office, Student Union, Room 302
West Hartford Campus
Library Building, 1800 Asylum Ave, Room 204
Monetary donations may be sent to:
UConn Alumni Association
Attn. Debra Crary
2384 Alumni Drive, Unit 3053
Storrs, CT 06269
Donations must be received by April 22.