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Blawger on a Mission in Afghanistan

When JAG lawyer Scott D. Delius launched his blog from Afghanistan, Afghanistan JAG, in December, he did not intend it to become a key link in a humanitarian mission to provide clothing and shelter for the Afghan people. But that is exactly what happened, as reporter Meredith Hobbs writes today in the Fulton County Daily Report. Delius, a solo lawyer in Atlanta, put his practice on hold in October to go to Afghanistan with the Army National Guard. His official mission is to help establish a military justice system there, but he soon found himself taking on a personal mission.

Last month, Delius took part in a humanitarian visit to a local village. What he saw there, as he wrote on his blog, left him "in a fog" and "overwhelmed." As he described and showed through his photographs, he found children in the freezing Afghan winter barefoot and poorly clothed. "There's this overwhelming urge to somehow save all of them," he wrote, adding, "I know we are going to try and help." That evening, he sat down at his computer and sent an e-mail to friends and colleagues asking for clothing, shoes and tents. Reporter Hobbs tells what happened then:

"Within a week and a half, people had contributed more than $4,000. Delius’s wife, Allyson Garnett, initially planned to use the money to buy clothing, but then the donations of clothes, shoes, diapers and stuffed animals started coming in.

"'It turned into a campaign across the legal community,' Garnett said.

"Several Atlanta lawyers have spearheaded contribution drives. ... Groups in Tennessee, Oklahoma and New York have also organized collections.

"Garnett has used the money instead to cover the costs of shipping everything to Delius’s base in Afghanistan. [One firm] alone shipped off 70 boxes of clothing and other donations, which take a couple of weeks to reach Kabul. So far, 10 boxes of clothes, shoes and other contributions, which have been sorted by age and gender have arrived, and Delius expects to receive about 200 more."

With this relief mission well underway, Delius has learned of another nearby village even worse off. That means that his mission continues and, thanks in part to his blog, his stateside colleagues can continue to follow it and participate.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on March 26, 2007 at 06:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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