26 August 2008

Soldier's nonprofit group helps Georgian orphans

With the help of translator Vakhtang Saladze, Jarrod Gozy, second from right, a sergeant first class based in Hohenfels, Germany, talks to Layla Meribishle, the director of a Tbilisi, Georgia, orphanage. Photo: Michael Abrams/S&S.


At the Tbilisi orphanage, Gozy wasn’t on official Army business during the Sunday night visit. Instead, the Hohenfels, Germany-based soldier was there as a volunteer to check up on how the children were doing since he last saw them a few days before the trouble started.

As the founder of the nonprofit group Give Children a Chance, Gozy had adopted the orphanage as a special project. And on training missions to Georgia, he and other soldiers from the Joint Multinational Training Center spent much of their free time pitching in to help out.

The concern for now is how the facility will be affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Georgia, where thousands of people have been displaced in the aftermath of the country’s conflict with Russia.

For Gozy, a native of Chillicothe, Ohio, the idea of helping out children began in 1994.

"It started when I was deployed to Haiti, handing out candy," he said.

After that, he taught English to school children in Bosnia. He built an orphanage in Romania in 2002. And during a deployment in Afghanistan, his foundation donated $40,000 worth of school supplies to 20 schools, Gozy said.

(emphasis added)

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