Home » Students place coffee, golf balls and other useful items in care packages for soldiers

Students place coffee, golf balls and other useful items in care packages for soldiers

Children, soldiers exchange e-mails and letters

NORTH CANAAN — American troops have heeded the call to duty in Iraq and Afghanistan for six years now. Through the alternating terror and boredom of life in a war zone, they still live day to day, often with an inadequate supply of basics (such as toiletries) and those little extras than can buoy the spirit: snacks, music, magazines, maybe a book to read.

North Canaan Elementary School has mounted a month-long effort to collect items requested by servicemen and -women on active duty. Most-wanted items are toiletries, snack foods and school supplies for village children.

Second-grade teacher Ashley DeMazza, who is spearheading the effort with student organizer Tori Merrill, said a few special requests are also being met.

“Apparently, some Marines from Connecticut have set up a makeshift driving range, but they are using rocks instead of balls. Quarry View Golf Course donated 25 dozen golf balls,” DeMazza said.

Another request, for a couple of footballs, was fulfilled by the Steamrollers football team.

Olde School Deli is sending ground coffee, probably the most-requested item.

The Dollar Depot has made donations of items and established a collection box so the entire community can help out.

As for the students, even the youngest are able to understand the sacrifice the servicemen and -women are making.

“We’ve talked about what it must be like to be away from home for a long time,” DeMazza said. “They know there are a lot of people around the world who are not as fortunate as they are, to be able to get everything they need.”

The effort is already sparking an exchange of letters and e-mails between the troops and students.

A goal of 250 collected items has been set. Donations may be brought to the school or to Dollar Depot.

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