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Countywide : Easing Pain of Rwanda Refugees

Carol Patterson and other residents of the Harbor Health Care nursing home in Fullerton were so moved by the television pictures of suffering in Rwanda and Zaire that they decided to do something about it.

This morning they will open a drop-off point for donations to the Rwandan relief effort.

“We’ve been watching the pictures and talking about it. We wished we could do something,” said Patterson, a retired Costa Mesa schoolteacher. “Here’s an opportunity to help.”

People interested in making donations can stop by the nursing home at 2222 N. Harbor Blvd.

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Donations will be accepted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. No food products or other goods can be accepted.

The cash and checks collected will go the American Red Cross’ Rwanda aid fund.

Contributions can also be mailed to Rwanda Relief, American Red Cross, P.O. Box 11364, Santa Ana, Calif. 92711-1364, or delivered to the Red Cross office at 601 N. Golden Circle Drive in Santa Ana.

The money will be used to send food, medical supplies and tents to refugee camps along the Rwandan border, where more than a million refugees face starvation, disease and lack of water.

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Patterson said other nursing home residents designed a collage of press clippings and photos of the crisis in Rwanda.

The collage is on display at the nursing home.

“The children’s suffering is the saddest thing. They seem so helpless,” Patterson said. “We want to alleviate their misery.”

The American Red Cross is also looking for doctors and nurses to work in Rwanda for three months, spokeswoman Judy Iannaccone said.

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Medical professionals with experience working under emergency conditions and who speak French fluently are urged to call (714) 835-5381, Ext. 147.


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