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Fr. Cornelius, volunteers collect items to send to Nigeria with love

Fr. Cornelius Ezeiloaku, left, photographs Fr. Jerry Meidl as he blesses donated items before they are loaded in
shipping containers for shipment to Nigeria.

NEW ULM — Thanks to the benevolence of many, Fr. Cornelius Ezeiloaku of New Ulm plans to distribute many donated items to his Nigerian hometown around Christmas.

Two years ago, Fr. Ezeiloaku and Dennis Schwarz of rural New Ulm wanted to donate items to the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, Nigeria. They created Care 4 Nigeria, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.

With a shipping container full of donated items, they helped start a seminary music department, bicycle shop, sewing and cement mixing businesses and clothed orphans and newborns.

This year they gathered supplies to send to Nigeria in two shipping containers.

The first container contained donated medical equipment including hospital beds, stretchers, wheelchairs, anesthesia machines, walkers and canes from the New Ulm and Sleepy Eye Medical Centers, plus the New Ulm DAV (Disabled American Veterans). Commercial table saws, other power tools and other items were placed in the container.

Fr. Cornelius Ezeiloaku, left, and volunteer Dennis Schwarz of
rural New Ulm stand in front of a shipping container full of donated items at a Milford Township farm to be sent to
Nigeria next week.

The second container will include six power wheelchairs, more than 100 bicycles, pianos, organs, pews and other items from former churches.

Musical instruments are sent to develop music students who want to become priests. Medical items are used in Catholic hospitals in Onitsha, Nigeria.

Fr. Ezeiloaku plans to arrive in Nigeria in time to distribute items around Christmas time.

In Nigeria, bicycles are the main way to get around.

“Sending containers 6,500 miles across the world is very expensive. We’re only able to do this thanks to the work and donations from many people and businesses,” read a Care 4 Nigeria brochure. “Help us care for the less fortunate. By giving just a little, you can make a big difference.”

Shipping containers sent to Nigeria costs several thousand dollars.

All donations are tax-exempt. Checks can be made out to “FOR NIGERIA.” Financial donations can be sent to Fr. Cornelius Ezeiloaku at Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, 605 State St. N., New Ulm, Mn 56073.

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