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Utah volunteers packing shipping containers to help people of Zimbabwe

(Stuart Johnson, KSL TV)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Leaders of an organization dedicated to helping people in Zimbabwe are spending the week in Salt Lake City.

The organization Eyes4Zimbabwe began 16 years ago to help Zimbabweans who had cataracts get surgery. In the years since it has expanded its relief efforts. It plans to send at least five 40-foot shipping containers full of supplies to Zimbabwe.

"We go out to areas and to places where there is not much help for anyone, right to the border of Zimbabwe, and then we ourselves distribute it," said Reeve Nield, one of the organizers.

Nield is from Zimbabwe, but when she was trying to think of a place to base their efforts, she said she could only think of one place.

"They said we'll put two 40-foot containers anywhere you want in the world, and I knew that the best place to put these was in Utah," she said.

This week, volunteers from around Salt Lake City are helping Eyes4Zimbabwe organizers as they load up donations and ship them away.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is allowing the group to use space in its Salt Lake humanitarian center. Eyes4Zimbabwe and the LDS Church are not part of any formal partnership.

People have brought in loads of items, including clothes, school supplies, and hygiene supplies for those in need.

"We feel the love that these have been donated with and I literally feel that love going to those people who are receiving and I'm really grateful," Nield said.

Nield said the organization can always use more donations of clothing, towels or medical supplies. However, she said they cannot bring any food into the country. They also need volunteers to help pack the supplies into several shipping containers bound for Zimbabwe.

To find out how to help, visit www.eyes4zimbabwe.org.

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Sean Moody

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