Students sending holiday packages to troops

October 16, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WILLIAMSPORT - For the third year, Williamsport Elementary School students will be sending holiday care packages to men and women in the U.S. military serving overseas.

Fifth-grade teacher Stephanie Bard said she is collecting names and addresses now, and will begin gathering items to fill the packages.

About 20 addresses already have been submitted, and Bard said she would like to have enough to send 30 packages. Last year the students sent 18, mostly to Iraq, she said.

"They're grateful to get them," Bard said. "We receive a lot of letters back from (the soldiers) saying they really appreciate them."


She said she would like to have all of the addresses by Friday and will collect items for the packages through Nov. 3.

Students also will be making cards to include with the care packages.

"It used to be more of a fifth-grade project, now it's more of a whole school project," she said. "Every student is going to have a letter in one of the boxes."

Bard said students' families and people and businesses in the community always have been generous with the holiday project.

"We've always had enough to fill the boxes," she said. "We've always gotten enough (money) for shipping the boxes, and anything extra we spend on more items to put in the boxes."

This year, Bard is getting some help from an American Legion Auxiliary and a Williamsport High School teacher, both of whom are donating items.

Jane Reinmuth of Williamsport American Legion Auxiliary, Potomac Unit No. 202, said the organization donated 265 pocket-sized flags for the care packages. They will go to troops on the front lines, she said.

Dusty Graham, a family and consumer science teacher at Williamsport High School, said about 60 of her students will be helping to make about 50 dozen cookie bars that ship well. She said she found the recipe online, and the bars are supposed to stay fresh during shipping and do not react to extreme temperatures as much as other recipes.

"It's a way to reach out," Graham said. "Despite what you think about the war, it's a way to help."

To submit an address of someone serving in the military overseas by Friday, or donate money or items from the following list, call 301-766-8415 and ask for Stephanie Bard, or bring the items to 1 S. Clifton Drive in Williamsport.

The following items may be donated by Nov. 3:

· Disposable hand warmers

· Disposable cameras

· Individual packages of candy or cookies

· Hard candy

· Powdered drink mix

· Travel packs of hand wipes

· Beef jerky

· Small packages of nuts or sunflower seeds

· Playing cards

· Crossword puzzle/word find/Sudoku books

· Pads of writing paper

· Pens and mechanical pencils

· Toothpaste

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