Local students jumpstart giving season

Barbara Lawlor

Peak to Peak

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Sometimes it takes children to help out 
the village. Two local students, one from Nederland Elementary School and one from Gilpin County School, have taken a look at the world around them and made the decision to kid up and 
help others. Their commitment to their projects should be the opening of a floodgate to 
When seventh grader Alessandro Lauria was four years old he and his mother Kristine were in Ghana where she worked with the Maternal/Infant Health Project as a midwife. Alessandro contracted malaria which is transmitted by the Anapholes mosquito. Malaria kills more than 3,000 children every day and pregnant women and children under five are the highest risk populations.
Alessandro remembers that he had a bad headache, nausea, a high fever and was vomiting a lot. Artemesia, an ancient Chinese herb for healing, was the only treatment that worked. He was ultimately to come down with malaria two more times.
In November, Kristine is going to Senegal, Africa, to teach midwifery to a place that 
has a high infant mortality rate. They have been planning the trip for months, gathering 
medical supplies. In August, Alessandro decided he wanted to help protect the children 
from contacting the disease that made him so miserable and he founded the Malaria Defense 
So far, he has raised more than $600, which will go directly to buying nets for children under five and pregnant women in the village of Mboro, Senegal. Alessandro will purchase the nets himself and distribute them directly when he gets to Africa. Not only has he been busy raising money, he has also given a presentation at Malaria Defense Project@gmail.com and has set up speaking engagements in local schools, rotary club and libraries in the Boulder County area.
Alessandro said that the malaria mosquitoes are active only from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. so 
people sleeping in disinfectant treated nets will be protected. He hopes that malaria can be eradicated in his lifetime and the Malaria Defense Project‚ Äì Nets in Action, is his 
way of working to see this accomplished.
To learn more about the Malaria Defense Project – Nets in Action, to attend an 
educational event or to schedule a presentation by Alessandro and the MDP – Nets in 
Action, please email or call. The Mountain Forum for Peace in Nederland has donated $1,000 and there is an account set up at the Mutual of Omaha Bank in Nederland under Malaria Defense 
Project and registered as a tax deductible charity.
Alessandra said, “Doing something to help prevent malaria makes me feel awesome. I am 
proud of myself.”
In Nederland, 9-year old Allison Hardt-Zeman also decided it was time to do 
something for others. Last month she was cleaning her room and the big part of that was 
culling out the clothes she no longer wore, and nine-year-old girls go through a bunch of 
clothes in a short time.
“I began to think that it would be nice to take all those clothes down to the homeless 
shelter so other children could have them,” Allison said. It wasn’t as easy as she 
thought it would be.
She and her mom went to the Good Will and gave them the clothes. She said that giving 
the clothes to someone who needed them made her feel happy. She wanted to continue the 
project. Allison emailed the Boulder Homeless Shelter and asked if there were any way she 
could help. They told her she couldn’t volunteer until she was 12 years old. Bummer.
However, they said she could organize a local clothing drive.
“I thought that was a good idea,” Allison said. On Sunday she made the announcement to 
the Nederland Community Presbyterian Church, which embraced the project and opened their 
hearts for a donation drive to be held on Sunday, Oct. 14. Allison said she will spend 
the day sorting the clothes and whatever the shelter can’t use, she will give to other 
charities in town. She is busy making posters to put up around town to invite other 
residents to join in the campaign for clothes.
The shelter needs clothes, but they also sent Allison a list of other products that are 
urgently needed. Towels, Toiletries, Travel size toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, bath soap, deodorant), disposable razors, shaving cream, toothbrushes, Kleenex, Q-tips, sunblock, ChapStick, combs, lotion, Earplugs, reading glasses, Over The Counter Medication, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, aspirin, cough drops/cough syrup/cold & allergy medication (without alcohol), Pepto-Bismol, vitamins (multi, C, E, fish oil), nasal strips, band aids, antacid, antibiotic ointment, aloe,
Staying Warm, Sleeping bags, Hats & gloves (warm, winter), socks (long, winter), large-size winter jackets, winter boots (adult sizes), Camping equipment: sleeping pads, tents, large backpacks.
Regarding clothing donations: Due to very limited storage space, the Shelter accepts 
only good quality, adult-sized (large and extra-large) winter outerwear (coats, socks, 
hats, gloves).
Food: Canned Vegetables, Butter, Salad Greens, Salad Dressing, Jelly, Ketchup, Sugar (brown and white), Mustard, Barbeque Sauce, Pancake Mix, Maple Syrup, Bowls (13-15 oz.),
Metal spoons, forks, knives.
Transportation: RTD bus tickets, passes, tokens.
Linens: Bath towels, wash cloths, twin-size cotton blankets, twin-size and full-size flat sheets.
Other: Toilet paper, upright vacuum cleaners, DVD & VCR players.
To donate on Oct. 14, bring items to the Nederland Community Presbyterian Church at 
noon. Allison and her family will be there to take the items to a sorting area and will 
deliver to the Boulder Homeless Shelter on Monday Oct. 15 after school. To contact 
Allison, call 720-412-8619.