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Kit building: INTA's Volunteer Service Project

Karen Bolipata learns out about this year’s INTA Volunteer Service Project, which took place yesterday.


What goes into one World Vision kit? Aside from antibacterial soap, washcloths and latex gloves – a little bit of care: each kit comes with a handwritten note from the kit builder to the caregiver.

"What we've found is the caregiver grabs that note and keeps that note and are so touched—not only that someone took time out of their day, but also has encouraged them to keep going," says Jeff Fields, World Vision's corporate relations senior director in the US.

This year, INTA has partnered with World Vision for its Volunteer Service Project. Yesterday participants created kits aimed at providing care for people living with AIDS.

Headquartered in Washington State, World Vision is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance to communities affected by disaster, civil conflict and poverty.

Unable to meet the demand with general donations, World Vision started hosting kit-building events throughout the US.

"We thought of turning it into a team-building event," Fields says. "At sales meetings, people take an hour out of that and allow staff to really do something that's meaningful that will touch them and tug at their heartstrings. It's a feel-good event where they can come away thinking, 'We did something.'"

Since 2006, the Caregiver Kit program has assembled about 317,000 kits sent around the world. The kits treat those living with AIDS and protect an estimated 77,000 community-based volunteer caregivers.

World Vision coordinates the bulk purchase of kit contents. Once complete, the kits are taken to World Vision's global distribution centers, where a team determines where to send them. Most likely, the kits from today will go to Zambia, Uganda, Swaziland or Zimbabwe.

This year seemed the perfect time to host a kit-building event at the Annual Meeting, says Fields. "Here, we know we're going to be touching multiple companies … At the least, we can get somebody interested and have them be a champion for us."

World Vision kit contents

• 10 bars of antibacterial soap • 1 container of petroleum jelly

• 1 box of disposable latex gloves

• 1 tube of antifungal cream

• 1 bag of cotton balls (200-count)

• 4 colored washcloths

• 1 notebook and 4 pens

• 1 LED flashlight with batteries

• 1 bottle of acetaminophen

• 10 oral rehydration salt sachets

• 12 water purification packets

• 1 regular kit or refill pack

• 1 handwritten note to the caregiver

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