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(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)—Clothes and school supplies from the Moravian College community are on their way to a children’s hospital in Iraq, thanks to Marge Beahm, assistant women’s basketball coach, and her husband, Staff Sgt. Mike Beahm of the Bethlehem-based 744th Military Police Battalion.
Mike Beahm is stationed at Camp Tallil, a prison camp south of Baghdad. In May, he was making supervisory visits to facilities run by his battalion when he dropped by a children’s hospital and an orphanage in Nazariya.
“He was seeing a lot of poor children walking around with just rags on,” said his wife. “They had no school supplies, not even crayons. And being a father and head of a family, he thought: ‘We’re always throwing stuff out.’ ”
So he put in a request to his wife, whose sister works for Binney & Smith in Easton. That took care of the crayons, and an all-campus e-mail brought in clothing and supplies.
“There’s a lot of clothes,” Marge Beahm said, ranging in size from newborn to teenager. There are stuffed animals for the children in the hospital, and several boxes of school supplies.
The donations were taken to the Bethlehem Reserve Center, which will ship them to Iraq. “It was supposed to be this little minuscule project, and it just got bigger and bigger,” she said.
Mike Beahm, the wildlife conservation officer of Lehigh County, has been a member of the U.S. Army Reserve for 12 years. He transferred to the 744th MPs last year, just as the unit came back from Kosovo. In January it was deployed to the Gulf. He is considering a transfer to the active-duty Army, his wife said.