Being home for the holidays is something that many people take for granted, often times complaining about all the EXTRA family time that comes with the holiday meal.
However, for Crystal Young this year the holiday will feel quite different than normal.
“The reason that we got it started is actually very close to my heart,” shared Crystal Young, Administrative Assistant in the Marshfield Junior High Principles Office. “My son, he is airman first class, Blake West. He is in the United States Air Force and this is his first time being deployed and away from home for the holidays.”
“We’ve talked briefly on the phone about troops being homesick, missing out on holiday events with families…and also there are troops over there that don’t have a family to send them anything,” shared Young. “It really got me thinking that maybe we could rally together and turn it around for at least 50 of the troops over there.”
Young headed to school and started talking with other staff.
“I started this project, me and the teachers, we all got together…we are sending care packages to troops that are deployed over seas...Our goal is to send 50 care packages.”
The project-Operation Young keeps referring to is: “With Love from Home”
The excitement for the project has spread and the entire Marshfield Junior High has gotten involved.
“…The students are getting involved…we’ve asked them to get their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles involved…(we’ve asked them to make) Christmas cards, write words of encouragement-anything they can think of…we’ve also passed out a “wish list” for the soldiers,” explained Young.
When trying to decide what types of items to ask people to send in for the care packages, Young turned to a website that gives specifics about what soldiers might want.
“The top four things that is on the troops list is: chapstick, lotion, socks and beef jerky,” laughed Young. “If you think about it, these troops don’t have access to Wal-Mart or any of the luxuries we have at home.”
In addition to those items, Young states that they are asking for items like non-refrigerated, microwavable items, trail mix, granola bars, high protein bars and other types of non-perishable snacks. “Whatever people feel that someone might be missing from home,” explained Young.
The Junior High office is the central location for drop offs and people from the community are encouraged to participate along with the students. The last day to make a donation drop off is Friday, December 2 by 4:00 p.m.
“The student council is going to help sort all of it out…probably December 2 and December 3. We are unclear honestly how we are going to ship it…we are thinking in bags, but it depends on what people bring,” explained Young. “We are just going to make it work.”
“We are taking monetary donations (as well). If someone doesn’t want to go out or don’t feel like shopping and they just want to give money…to go towards postage because we know that’s going to be a big expense,” shared Young. “We’ve already collected $95 in cash donations.”
“Local business, Rockwood Family Dental has pledged to donate some dental supplies: toothpaste, toothbrush and floss to send and I can’t begin to express how grateful we are for them…” added Young. “If any other businesses are interested in helping out…feel free to reach out to me.” In addition Young shared that Wal-Mart has donated a $75 gift card.
“I just want people to remember this holiday season that there are thousands of troops far away from home. Their sacrifice allows us to be in the comfort of our home, enjoying the holidays with our family,” shared an emotional Young. “Every single one of those troops is someone’s mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother or friend. They matter to someone, so let’s show them that they matter to us.”
To contact Young she can be reached at the Marshfield Junior High by phone at 417-859-2120 ext. 6 or by email at email@example.com. Drop off’s can be made during school hours at the Junior High. The list of items can be viewed on the Marshfield Junior High Facebook page.
PULL QUOTE: “I just want people to remember this holiday season that there are thousands of troops far away from home. Their sacrifice allows us to be in the comfort of our home, enjoying the holidays with our family,” shared an emotional Young. “Every single one of those troops is someone’s mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother or friend. They matter to someone, so let’s show them that they matter to us.” - Crystal Young
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