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Mums Of Alums Collect For Service Personnel Overseas

Villa Duchesne Oak Hill Mums of Alums package up 200 boxes of non perishable items to be delivered to our fighting forces overseas.

For the second consecutive year, the Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill Mums of Alums, an organization for the mothers of graduates of the school comminity gathered, prepared and shipped non-perishable items to active duty military personnel, serving overseas.

Last year, with a brief window of time, the drive, called Military Outreach packaged up and shipped 75 boxes. Collecting since January 23 of this year, the goal was set closer to 200 boxes. They actually shipped 160 boxes to the post office.

A small army of women gathered this past Wednesday to box up and ship the non-perishable goods.

This year, for the first time, the Mums made more specific requests by classes at Villa, from seventh through 12th grade. Each class was given a specific request for items to donate.

Organizers were looking for things such as dried fruits, jars of peanut butter and jelly; cans of Pringles; crackers, pretzels and a wide range of other snack items.

At the same time, they were collecting practical items like AA and AAA batteries, Germ X wipes, magazines, foot warmers and the like.

The packaging event was as much social as it was serious. Once items were packed, they were carted off to five area post offices in Clayton, Town and Country, Creve Coeur, Chesterfield and Des Peres.

“There’s just too much to deliver to one post office. We have custom forms to deal with,” said Marge Merjavy, event char and mother of Stephen Merjavy, 1994 graduate of Oak Hill School and Marine Corp First Lieutenant Matthew Merjavy, 1998 graduate of Oak Hill.

Assisting Merjavy were the co-chair Kathleen Short and the president of Mums of Alums Rose Ann Penilla.

At the same time, the chairs were collecting cash to pay for the shipping of the boxes. The post office charges $13.50 to ship each box.

“As long as we have military personnel overseas involved in combat missions, we will continue collecting each year. It sure would be great if we didn’t have to do this any more,” said Penilla.

Each box included a personal message of thanks to the service men and women from Sr. Lucie Norman,  RSCJ, Head of School. Distributed to the Mums of the Alums was a special prayer for the troops prepared by the the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA.

Some of the moms, with their children on the receiving end of these gifts expressed their thanks:

A mother who was extremely grateful we were sending her son in Afghanistan a care package because her family "frankly can not afford to send one."

Another mother whose son was in a dangerous {area} in Afghanistan far from a base wrote: " Haven't heard from my son in a while...got a short I love you mamma Sunday but that' it.  Keep in mind all prayers your school can give will help and I know those soldiers would be thrilled with packages." 

Enjoy the view from the Activity Room at Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill with a group of women busy tending to the needs of active duty military personnel while serving our country overseas.

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