Local group of Utahns give support to tsunami victims

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    By David Calkins

    While the devastation left by the tsunami in South-East Asia is enormous, a local group of Utahns is doing its part to help.

    Members of Mothers Without Borders, a volunteer-based, non-profit organization based in American Fork, spent the past few days providing relief in Indonesia.

    Led by Kathy Headlee, founder of Mothers Without Borders, the group focused on donating and making supplies for tsunami victims. So far, they?ve assembled about 200 family survival kits to be sent to the West Coast of Sumatra.

    ?I?ve never seen people work so hard as [them],? said KSL reporter Russ Hill about the group.

    Hill has been following the group in its efforts throughout South-East Asia. When the women would tell people they were from America, Hill said, he couldn?t help but think of the seeds that they were planting inside the Muslim country.

    ?Most impressive to me [is] the attitude toward Americans that this relief effort is really changing,? he said.

    Kathy Headlee began the Mothers Without Borders project about 12 years ago, with the mission of providing aid to orphaned children by ?nurturing and caring for them as if they were [their] own,? according to the organization?s Web site.

    Mary Headlee, Kathy?s mother, said the group spends most of its current efforts helping orphans in Africa. She said when the tsunami hit, Kathy saw a need she could fill.

    ?This is a fact-finding mission,? Headlee said. ?It?s to gain experience for Mothers Without Borders so that during the next disaster they can be better prepared for it.?

    Along with giving aid and making supplies, the group?s focus in South-East Asia was to be able to organize non-medical volunteers for disaster situations.

    ?When people need medical attention, they go to doctors for help,? Headlee said. ?When people are lost or displaced, we want them to be able to go to Mothers Without Borders for help.?

    Mothers Without Borders has served children in orphanages in Romania, Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Nepal, Bolivia and those living in the streets in Africa and India.

    According to the Web site, the organization envisions ?a world where children are safe and loved, understand their value, and are given opportunities to thrive, grow, and contribute to their world in meaningful ways.?

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