The mailman backs his truck up to the door at the headquarters for the Malawi Project in Indianapolis, Indiana and starts gathering box after box after box of priority mail from Girl Scout Troup # 1611 of Folsom, California. The boxes are making a short stop in Indiana before being loaded onto a forty-foot trailer heading for Malawi.
The items contain things that are second nature to any mother or child in America. They sit ready in nearly every medicine cabinet in the nation.
Band-Aids, toothbrushes, toothpaste, Tylenol, Aspirin, cough drops, cold and cough medicine, rubber gloves, dental floss, and antibiotic ointments spilled out of the open boxes as they were being inventoried and prepared for shipment to Malawi. Nothing unusual for people who can stop at a neighborhood drug store at a moments notice, or who can easily slip down the pharmaceutical isle of a nearby supermarket, convenience store or super store.
Deep in the sub-Sahara where drug stores are unknown, and where even a band-aid may not exist in the nearest government hospital a cut can lead to an infection that could lead to an amputation or even death.
A child cries at night from a malaria caused fever that threatens brain damage if it is not brought under control. Tylenol is a hundred miles away and far too high a cost for a village family to purchase it. Even aspirin is seldom available to many in the villages and the cries in the night go unheard and unheeded outside of the tiny helpless village family.
A parent is dying of HIV/AIDS in a small government hospital far out in the bush country. Nearby an unsuspecting child watches the parent struggle futility to hold onto life not knowing the infection has also entered the body of the child through the use of the single family toothbrush that was used while the infected parent suffered with bleeding gums.
The truck is packed and prepared for shipment. Into its bowels goes the shipment from the Girl Scouts of Troup # 1611. Deep in the central part of Africa scores of children will soon receive these gifts from girls they will never meet.