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Nine-year-old boy lends a heart to help Afghans

Afghanistan, February 25, 2002

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    Photo: Kim Johnston/Mercy Corps. Photo:

When Josh Norville, 9, of Oregon City, Oregon heard a news report about families suffering this winter in Afghanistan he decided he wanted to do something to help. He gathered his supplies – paper, glue, and pens – and made Valentine’s Day cards which he sold to friends, relatives and member of his church for $1 a piece.

Josh recently visited Mercy Corps headquarters in Portland, Oregon and donated the fruits of his labor: $427.16.

“I heard the report on the news and it made me feel bad,” said Josh. “So I just thought it would be a fun idea to make the cards and that it was worthwhile.”

Josh said he got the idea to make the cards from a Christmas project at his church and that he chose to support Mercy Corps’ work in Afghanistan after performing his research by looking at a number of charities’ Web sites.

“His original goal was $200,” said his mother, Mary Norville. “Everyone he approached thought it was a great idea and wanted to contribute and he was able to sustain his energy throughout the project. That’s what makes me so proud of what he has done.”

Josh said that he might like to start his own Web site someday where children from around the world can come together to express their feelings and thoughts about peace.

For now, he is happy to know that he helped needy families in Afghanistan.

“It was a lot of work but it feels really good,” he said.