A couple of dozen Utahns returned home tonight after spending their Thanksgiving week helping others in a faraway place. In one of the poorest parts of the world, they did everything from delivering school supplies to delivering babies.
This is the fifth year people from Cache County have donated funds for humanitarian work in the African nation of Ghana. And it's the fifth time a delegation has traveled there to celebrate Thanksgiving by helping others.
There were hugs as the group returned to their families who celebrated Thanksgiving without them. Their non-profit group is called America Helps, and that's just what they did in Ghana.
Robert L. Stevenson, Logan: “We took over about three tons of educational supplies.”
The annual Thanksgiving trip to Ghana relies on donations from Cache County. This year they delivered more than $300,000 worth of school and medical supplies. That makes a big impact in a poor country like Ghana.
Michael Morrill, Logan: “The whole parliament wanted to come to see us because it was such a substantial donation to their country, so it was great.”
One member of the team was an OB/GYN who helped deliver babies. Another was a chiropractor. The Utah volunteers also set up a screening clinic to detect kids with hearing problems. Some kids got hearing aids. One youngster got one in each ear, allowing him to hear clearly for the first time.
Robert L. Stevenson: “He was running all over, squealing, happy. I mean, that's worth the whole thing right there.”
Stephen Abu, a USU student from Ghana, traveled with the group. When we asked what the trip meant to his people, he recalled a song on the group's bus in Ghana.
Song: “Different colors, one people, we're all brothers, my brothers.”
Stephen Abu, Utah State University Student: “They are white, Ghaneans are black. But we are brothers and sisters and our help is going to help them a lot.”
Stephen Abu's father is a schoolteacher in Ghana, one of many that were helped. The group even donated furniture so the kids would have something to sit on when they go to school.