By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
Peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth, is great on sandwiches and one jar of it provides enough protein for a child for a whole month.
With the help of Mississippi State University and the Starkville community, one Golden Triangle non-profit organization is hoping to collect 8,000 jars of peanut butter to send to children in Haiti.
“Just two tablespoons of peanut butter will give a child the protein they need for a day. It’s also something that’s easy to ship and kids like it,” Kathy Cadden, Operation Ukraine director, said.
Operation Ukraine, based in Columbus, has provided food and supplies to countries all over the world. This small organization helps out in a big way by shipping 10- to 30-ton containers filled with goods to countries from Eastern Europe to Latin America and the Middle East to Africa.
“The government called us the Wednesday after the earthquake in Haiti and asked if we could help out. They said we could have two containers so of course, we said yes,” Cadden said. “I had no desire to work in Haiti, but I guess God had something else in mind.”
To date, Operation Ukraine has sent over 1 million lbs. of rice and beans to Haiti. Cadden recently returned from a four week trip to Haiti and said the peanut butter donations would be a big help to the orphanages there.
The MSU campus radio station, WMSV 91.1, will hold a radiothon Dec. 2 and 3 to help raise money for the cause.
Radio station manager Steve Ellis said he decided to get involved after Operation Ukraine helped students at Sale Elementary in Columbus collect over 1,400 pairs of shoes for children in Haiti.
Anyone can donate jars or money for the cause. Three dollars will buy one jar of peanut butter. For four jars or a $10 donation, a DJ will announce your name on the air and thank you for your donation. For eight jars or a $20 donation, you can come in and give a “shout out” on the air. For 12 jars or $30 dedication, you can come in and dedicate any song — including your own song — on the air.
WMSV will also give any group or organization — such as a fraternity or local band — half an hour of air time to play songs, promote their organization or whatever they wish for a $300 donation, which would buy 10 cases of peanut butter.
The radio station will also be taking donations in the State Fountain Bakery, where Aramark will offer free coffee and peanut butter cookies, following the MSU men’s basketball game against West Virginia on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Ellis said they will need to raise $16,000 to purchase enough peanut butter. Walmart has agreed to give 18 ounce jars of its Great Value peanut butter for approximately $2 per jar and ship it to Columbus.
“One hundred percent of the peanut butter collected goes straight to the kids. The government doesn’t take it, customs doesn’t take it. There’s no skimming off the top,” Cadden said.
The United States Air Force will fly the peanut butter shipment in to Haiti for the organization right out of the Columbus Air Force Base.
“Anybody can do something. People tell me all the time that they see the starving children on TV and they change the channel. I tell them that is so selfish. Why not do something?” Cadden said. “For the price of a cup of coffee, you can give a kid the protein they need for an entire month.”