Tampa Woman washes cars to raise funds for Darfur trip by Mitch E. Perry

12/04/06

For the past 2 days, activist Sara Newton, with help from some friends, has been washing cars right behind the Starbucks Coffee Shop in Tampa’s Seminole Heights District (roll tape#1 o.q. “sound�)

From 11 AM to 3 PM on Both Sunday and Monday, Newton was cleaning cars as a way to raise money for her trip to Darfur, the site of perhaps the worst humanitarian crises in the world at the moment.

The 26 year old former USF student will be working an intern with a U.N. Development Program for 2 to 3 months, beginning in January (roll tape#2 o.q.� hopefully I can�) The UN program will be working at building a functional judicial system in Darfur.

But although she’ll be getting a $100 a month stipend, her expenses, while not grandiose, will certainly require more money than that. So the 2 day fundraiser was intended to get her funds for her plane ticket to the Sudan, as well as living expenses, and various vaccination shots.

Accompanied by a couple of friends on Sunday, cars went by an adjoining parking lot just north of Starbucks to get their cars washed. (roll tape3 o.q.’and give you some more�)

This will not be Sarah Newton’s first trip abroad. A year ago, she lived in the Middle East, working as an intern with a Swedish human rights group. She said that experience changed her (roll tape#4 o.q. “most disheartening things�)

Newton said she sympathizes greatly with Palestinian people, and feels that their experiences are not adequately reported by the U. S. Media (roll tape#4B o.q.�peaceful existence�)

As the morning changed to afternoon on Sunday, more motorists came by to get at least part of their cars washed and to contribute to the cause, like Berta (roll tape#5 o.q.�to help out�)

Keith Sherwood stood alongside Hillsborough Avenue, holding aloft a sign to get motorists to pull in and get their car washed for the cause. He said the best thing that could come out of Sarah Newton’s experience is raise awareness among other people in Tampa about the crises in Darfur (roll tape#5 o.q.�one person going�)

Sarah Newton says she’d like to make a career out of helping those out around the world (roll tape#6 o.q. “a popular idea�)

It’s too late now to get your car washed….But for those who want to help out Sarah Newton – she’s easily accessible at her regular gig at the Seminole Heights Starbucks …or you can write to her directly at Newton.se@gmail.com

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