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Bend family bringing hygiene products, toys and clean drinking water to Uganda

(Update: Adding video, comments from family)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Sam and Logan Forrester of Bend are leaving for Uganda at the end of the week, to provide feminine hygiene products, clean well water, soccer balls and toys for children in Uganda.

“We’ve been planning all of this out for a year and half now,” Sam said Wednesday.

The Forrester family went on a church mission trip to Uganda a few years ago, and were taken aback at the amount of resources they need.

“It really, for lack of a better word, opened my eyes to what’s going on over there, to luxuries we have here," Sam said.

Sam is a 16-year-old with a goal to attend Yale as a transfer student. He will graduate high school with his associates degree in chemistry from COCC through the dual enrollment program at Oregon Family School. 

He chose access to clean water as his focus, and has written a research paper on the history behind the lack of clean water, the reasons for ongoing access issues, the cultural and political obstacles, and just how preventable many diseases are. He also has a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the project.

“Having to hike, having to walk five kilometers to and from a well every day and to carry two jerry cans of water every day to use doesn’t really seem that ideal," Sam said.

He said roughly 75 percent of diseases in Uganda stem from the lack of enough, clean drinking water.

“And really, the impact of water, the ability to have water, the ability to use clean water, especially in the rural villages -- it meant so much to them,” Sam said.

Logan is 14 and is focused on providing joy to Ugandan children, by bringing over 400 Beanie Babies, 50 soccer balls, 12 volleyballs, basketball nets and donations of soccer cleats and shin guards.

“Well, there was a lot of fun with the kids, and it was a blast to see how much they enjoyed everything," Logan said.

The boys' mother, Shannon Forrester, will be conducting feminine hygiene talks and handing out period underwear kits to 200 girls, sewn by the Bend and Medford chapters of an organization called Days For Girls.

Sam and Logan say they feel this help is the least they can do.

“We have the capability and it is super nice to be able to help people in such a critical state," Logan said.

“And if we have the time, if we have the money, if we have the resources to do that, I don’t really see a reason why we can’t do that," Sam added.

The family is also headed to Karumo to an orphanage called Restoration Gateway, where they have been working toward the funding of an orphan home and are $18,500 into their $35,000 goal. 

They will be also be traveling with four Ugandan orphans who they have built relationships with over the years and who they say are "incredible success stories for how lives can be transformed."

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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.

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