Mequon students share Girl Scout cookies with Africa Mercy Ship

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The Mequon campus Student Government sets national and global giving goals, and for the past four years has partnered with Brownie Troop 6024 of Rockfield Elementary school in Germantown to send Girl Scout cookies to the Africa Mercy Ship. The ship is the largest hospital medical ship in the world whose staff pays to volunteer to serve patients that would not receive services otherwise. Ninety nurses, 15 doctors, and a crew of 450 spend months in ports in Senegal, Togo, Ghana, Benin, and Sierra Leone performing surgery and other treatments. Food on the ship is very basic and there is not much budget for treats.
Christine Ryan, the “Cookie Mom” and a Mequon campus staffer, said, “The students have sold 800 boxes of cookies over the past four years, and 300 boxes have gone to the ship.” The Girl Scout Cookie Share program gives the girls a chance to donate cookies to worthy causes, and develops international relationships for them. Most of the sales take place outside the campus cafeteria.
The maxillofacial surgery that corrects and treats severe deformities that are caused by an overgrowth of tooth enamel provides some of the most rewarding care given. A benign condition in the United States that would be taken care of early enough to avoid the severe deformities, these neglected patients are called “rubbish, worthless, cursed,” and are often total outcasts from their families. Until they get their much needed surgery, they are often deprived of any basic human acceptance for many years. Chief surgeon, Gary Parker, says he “came for a few months, but has been doing these surgeries more than 26 years.”
The patients served on the Africa Mercy Ship in just 5 months while docked in Togo included 581 tumors removed or repaired, 34 cleft palettes transformed, and 794 cataract surgeries that took patients who had been blind for decades to sight restored in hours. Allie Chandra, nurse on the ship said, “There is a real sense of community on the ship that I would really miss, so I cannot return to the American-style of nursing care. I get to see the world, and take care of really awesome people.” The medical crew is often sponsored by churches, and the average cost for one crew member is $10,000 which only covers about three months of expenses.
The average daily wage of a Togo patient is $2.
The Mequon campus Student Government will be taking orders next year to send more Girl Scout cookies to the ship. They only sell the cookies the first two weeks in March, so to take part in this great gesture of support, have your order ready by the last week in February. They would like to double the amount of cookies being sent next year. The crew looks forward to getting those delicious reminders of home.

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