"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A good deed noticed!

My cousin, her son and all the rest of the first graders have officially sent off the packages to the "Old Man's" unit in Iraq. What a great story! Here's the write-up.

'Valentines for Marines'
First-graders send love to the troops
By Brian Saxton THE NEWS-TIMES

NEW FAIRFIELD -- Shannon Broderick tidied up her brother's room and the kitchen and earned herself $6.75. Sean King cleaned his room and the downstairs of his family's home and was rewarded with $39. Ethan Kamps helped vacuum his home and picked up $6.
The three 6-year-olds and the remaining 197 first-graders at Consolidated School earned $1,200 this month by doing household chores to help pay for a Valentine's Day project supporting U.S. Marines in Iraq.
"It makes me feel good to be able to help them," Ethan said Tuesday as the children packed Valentine's Day cards and care packages to send to the troops.
Ethan's mother, Robyn, helped spearhead the project after reading a Web blog kept by her cousin Anna Hancock of Washington, D.C., whose husband is serving with the Marines in Iraq.
Cpl. Hancock is based with 200 other Marines in Iraq, helping to train Iraqi soldiers.
"Anna keeps the blog to let everyone know how he is," Kamps said. "When I read one day that his favorite mail comes from a 4-year-old niece, I thought I'd tell my son's class about it."
A room mother at the school, 40-year-old Kamps said the idea of supporting Hancock's unit quickly won approval.
"We decided to call it 'Valentines for Marines' and it just blossomed from there," Kamps said. "Writing and creating the cards was good exercise for the children and nice for the soldiers. The kids have done a wonderful job. They should be very proud of themselves."
Along with the cards came the idea of sending care packages.
"We turned it into a class project," said first-grade teacher Roseann Vicare. "Everyone became really excited."
To earn the money needed to buy the contents of the packages, it was decided the children should do chores at home.
"The response was amazing," said Vicare. "In the end the children raised $1,200."
Other support came from outside the school. The New Fairfield Lions Club donated $200 and two parents each gave $250 to help pay for the shipping.
Knowing the best gifts would be nonperishable items, Vicare and Kamps bought coffee, soup, crackers, games, Frisbees and playing cards. They even included copies of area newspapers, among them The News-Times.
"It was everyday stuff, things to remind them of home," Kamps said.
The packages also included coloring books and crayons, as well as soccer balls and old uniforms from the New Fairfield Soccer Club, for distribution to a school close to where the Marines are stationed.
Kamps hopes the Marines will use the disposable cameras they are mailing to take pictures of themselves opening the packages and them return them to the class.
Vicare believes the project has had an academic impact on the children, as well as making a humanitarian statement.
"They're only 6 years old and have such a small view of the world. I think this gives them a global appreciation of what's going on outside their classrooms," Vicare said.
"The soldiers have been there so long, we also don't want them to think we've forgotten them."
Each handmade Valentine's Day card, written and signed by one of the children, also contained a heart-shaped key ring they made.
Most cards echoed the sentiments expressed by students Ryne Cleary.
"Dear Marine -- Happy Valentine's Day," Ryne wrote. "Thank you for keeping us safe. I love you. Please be safe."

1 comment:

The Little Woman said...

That is so wonderful! I am so glad to see people still supporting the troops! I think I might have told you in a comment some other time that our youth pastor is over there right now.