For the third consecutive year, the Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill Mums of Alums gathered, prepared and shipped non-perishable items for military personnel serving overseas, particularly in Afghanistan.
Soldiers serving in forward outposts are unable to purchase any items. Tired of MRE’s, meals ready to eat, getting care packages from home is especially a treat. Packaged chicken and packaged tuna are very popular these days.
This year’s goal was to meet or exceed the 75 boxes shipped overseas in 2012.
A group of Mums of Alums (the mothers of graduates of the school community gathered to box up all of the donated items.
For weeks, students at Oak Hill and Villa Duchesne have been bringing non-perishable items to go into the care packages.
Popular donated items include jars of peanut butter and jelly; Germ X Wipes, playing cards, Beef Jerky, M & Ms, magazines, crackers and other treats not easily found overseas.
Kathleen Short, a co-director talked about her wonderful volunteers.
“Each box has a letter from a student (at Oak Hlll) and a note from Sister (Lucie Nordmann), RSCJ, head of school and a prayer.”
“We do this just to show we love our troops and we appreciate their efforts.”
Short says the war has gone on so long (now more than a decade), that care packages being shipped are starting to dwindle.
“It would be wonderful if they (our soldiers) were all back home and we didn’t have to do this,” said Short. Right now, that doesn’t seem likely.
Rachel Gehm, director of alumni affairs at Villa Duchesne Oak Hill serves as the link between the school and the Mums.
“We are busy all the time. Just this week we have three alumni activities,” said Gehm.
“We’ve been gathering supplies and food the last three weeks. Each grade level has a list of items they are supposed to bring. The Oak Hill students don’t bring items. They each wrote a letter or drew a picture to put into each care package and that’s a great way to get both schools involved,” said Short.
A mother, Marge Merjavy, who spearheads this entire activity has a son who has served in combat. Stephen Merjavy, 1994 graduate of Oak Hill and a U.S. Marine is a First Lieutenant who was deployed twice and spoke to the girls about his experiences in Afghanistan.
“He encouraged he girls to participate and let them (the students) know how important care packages are," said Short.
At the end of the day, all the packages are delivered to the U.S. Post Office and shipped immediately overseas.