FAYETTE, Iowa (November 29, 2007) - For the second consecutive year, Upper Iowa University (UIU) students, faculty and staff have set out to make the holidays a little cheerier for its deployed military students by sending holiday care packages. A total of 64 students will receive packages, compared with 40 students a year ago.
The Greek sorority Gamma Delta Phi alone claimed three of the names. The sorority indicated because it has 21 members, it could afford to make the holidays brighter for three soldiers instead of just one. Most of the women at least know someone serving overseas, whether it is a close family friend, someone from their community, or a person they graduated with from high school.
Project coordinator Karla Gavin, director of career development at UIU, says the military student package drive is important because there is a need. "Regardless of our personal views about the country's current military actions," she said, "our military students still need our encouragement and support."
Gavin added, "We, as citizens, need to feel that we are contributing in some way--large or small. What better way than to put a smile on a military student's face than by receiving an unexpected package?"
According to Gavin, the packages are to be filled with non-perishable items such as food, packaged candy, toothpaste, toothbrushes, other toiletries, pen, and paper. She said tucking in a personal note is also a nice addition.
"Even though it may not seem like much, it feels good to know that we may bring some joy over the holiday season to those that serve our country," said Gamma Delta Phi President Carlyn Wacker. "It is a gesture that we like to take part in just to show our appreciation."
Gavin also stated that this year the Fayette American Legion gave UIU a donation to help defer the cost of postage for some of the packages. "We greatly appreciate their interest and support for this project," said Gavin.
To learn more about sending care packages to the troops, go to www.operationusocarepackage.org. For more information about Upper Iowa University, go to www.uiu.edu.