JROTC hosts “Operation care” for overseas soldiers


photo by Chatham Farrell

JROTC cadets package supplies for soldiers as a part of this year’s Operation Care Project. Items were collected to send for Christmas.

It’s been a busy year for JROTC, with multiple blood drives and fundraisers in the first two quarters, but their most recent “Operation Care” donation drive has proven that no amount of helping others is too much to handle.  From Nov. 26th to Dec. 14, the cadets will be collecting a variety of essentials for soldiers deployed overseas in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, South Korea, and Africa to send abroad just in time for Christmas.

Operation Care has been sending care packages to deployed soldiers for years, but this year students are collecting items to send abroad for troops who aren’t able to come home for Christmas.  Items being collected include essentials for both male and female soldiers as well as food and entertainment items.  These include paper, pens, board games, shampoo, body wash, deodorant,, instant meals, cup noodles, travel mugs, condiments, and more.

“The collection is so important because the people serving our country right now don’t get to have the luxury of having a lot of the items we do,” said sophomore Bradley Sheppard.

The assembled items are being collected in both the cafeteria and the front office up until Friday, Dec. 14.  After Friday, the items will be assembled into care packages including handwritten notes and folded flags in every box.  The boxes will then be shipped abroad in time for Christmas.  “Usually there’s a place they call ‘Walmart’ where they can get the money to go to a place not even the size of a normal classroom and shop for only a couple items at a time.  The army just doesn’t have the resources for them,” said sophomore Aliyah Gibson.

Along the front of the classroom, incomplete boxes sit in rows, ready to be finished and sent abroad.  “I’d estimate we’ve filled up around 15 or 20 boxes so far,” said Sheppard.

“It’s the thought that counts, that drives veterans and patriotic citizens to show their love and respect in such a small and precious way for those men and women in harm’s way,” said veteran and JROTC Colonel Calvin Wimbish.