By collecting needed supplies earlier this season for North Carolina-based soldiers who are currently deployed, students at Union Elementary School hoped to both learn and put into practice important character traits.
â€œThe project allows students to demonstrate the character education traits they learn about each month, and not just talk about them in class,â€ guidance teacher Lisa Earl said.
Through the project, Union Elementary guidance students learned about caring, respect and citizenship.
Earl also felt that the project exposed students to a future opportunity of serving their country.
â€œDonating items to the troops opens their eyes to a career they may want to consider in the future,â€ she noted.
Earl said that during the course of the project students are â€œalways eagerâ€ to talk about friends and family members who have served or are currently serving in the military.
This is the second year that the school has partnered with the Lincolnton branch of the State Employeesâ€™ Credit Union to send items overseas, and Earl noted that both times, the soldiersâ€™ response has been quite receptive.
â€œThe soldiers sent a thank-you letter and picturesâ€¦distributing and opening their boxes,â€ she said.
Earl revealed how the militaryâ€™s deep-seeded gratitude for the gifts stems largely from the fact that they are without their families during the holiday season and look forward to support from the American public.
â€œThe soldiers are very appreciative of the support and encouragement they receiveâ€¦especially during the Christmas season,â€ she said.
â€œSupport the Troopsâ€ ran from Sept. 15 through Oct. 31. However, Union Elementary students only collected items for three of the nearly six week-long campaign and were still able to gather four boxes of itemsâ€”twice as many items as last year, school officials said.
â€œEvery student in the building has an opportunity to participate,â€ Earl noted, stating how the school plans to participate in the annual drive for as long as the campaign exists.
Items donated included sunscreen, Band-Aids, socks, games, snack food and toiletries, among various other supplies.
According to the SECU website, 5,000 boxes were distributed on behalf of the credit unionâ€™s campaign this year. Boxes were first sent to Raleigh for packaging and then distributed to North Carolina-based soldiers deployed from both the National Guard and other military branches, the site said.
In addition, SECU President Jim Blaine posted the following thoughts on the bankâ€™s website, expressing his gratitude for individualsâ€™ overwhelming response and generosity: â€œMuch, much more than was requiredâ€”far, far more than was expected…truly a gift from the heart.â€
Bank officials said the overflow in donated items will allow SECU to bless many additional soldiers and their families this holiday season.
For more information on the SECUâ€™s patriotic campaign, visit https://www.ncsecu.org/Highlights/SupportTheTroops.html