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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Emory Cares in Milan

Emory doesn’t have many alumni in Italy (yet!) so our chapter in Milan is really more "Emory and Friends"

By "friends" I mean people who have connections to Emory either as parents of current students (like my husband and me), guidance counselors at the international schools who recommend Emory to their best students, Emory exchange students doing a semester abroad in Italy, and Italian students who did a semester at Emory.

Brainstorming at an Emory and Friends dinner last fall, we were trying to come up with a worthwhile event for Emory Cares International Service Day that would make an impact and still work within the constraints of the Italian system.

Kim Barton, the Dean of the International School, came up with the idea of a pasta drive for Padre Beccaro, a school dedicated to serving the immigrant community’s children in Milan (above). Everyone loved the idea because it was simple and useful. And asking people to donate a package of dried pasta to a good cause was easy.

Now the American School of Milan, the International School of Milan, the Benvenuto Club of Milan (a member of the Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas), and the Emory exchange students will all collect pasta, which will be accumulated with a celebration dinner on November 19, then boxed and delivered to the Padre Beccaro School on November 23.

One lady commented to me last week that what we were doing was very nice because it was ... and this was her word ... “democratic.” Even those with very limited means can contribute and not feel that their generosity is insignificant compared to what some other people can give.

They say, “It takes a village….” If so, through Emory Cares, we’ve created our own village of cooperation and community service in Milan.

Click here to learn more about how to get involved and donate pasta for Emory Cares in Milan

-- Irene Gambino, Emory Cares project coordinator, Milan, Italy; Emory parent

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