It only takes one person to make a difference.
FCCLA students at Bray-Doyle High School have been learning this lesson. And the motto is part of what has driven them to take part in the annual March for Troops project, which is a project to collect items to send to troops overseas.
“We’ve been working on this about a week,” FCCLA teacher Donna Thames said. “It’s stuff that’s not readily available overseas. We try to send them things from home.”
The project was founded by Thames eight years ago, when her son Kevin Smith asked her to put more in his care packages so he could share with his fellow troops where they were stationed overseas. Thames said some of the troops don’t have families or don’t receive care packages, which is how the students can help. Over the course of eight years, the request has grown from being just a project in Thames class to now having four counties involved — Stephens, Grady, Carter and Love counties.
The school will collect items through March 21. The date was chosen because the school is collecting for 21 days instead of holding a 21 gun salute. March was chosen to signify the marching the troops do.
In the first week of the project this year, the closet in Thames classroom is nearly halfway full. When the project comes to an end, the school will have about two pickup truck loads ready to be sent.
“It’s turned out really great over the years,” Thames said.
She acknowledged the impact the students have had on the project. She said the students are the ones who keep the project going and help it to keep growing each year.
Among those students are senior Viky Smith and sophomore Dylan Medler. Both said the project is a great way to give back to others.
“I think it’s a great project,” Smith said. “We get to tell other people how they can help.”
Smith is planning to take a box to her church so people in the community can help with the project. She said people don’t even have to go out and buy items. Instead, they can donate things they already have but haven’t used.
“It’s really nice because I get to help the community in ways I never thought I could,” Medler said. “I really love it.”
Medler’s involvement in the project has included donating items, carrying things and sorting through items. This year, he plans to join his peers during Spring Break to collect items in front of Wal-Mart.
“We really get to help out the community,” Medler said.
Items that can be donated for care packages are baby powder, foot powder, chap stick, hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand lotion, sunscreen, baby wipes, athlete’s foot cream, shaving soap (no aerosol), disposable razors, feminine personal items, loofa sponges, tweezers, Q-tips, suckers, hard candy, beef jerky, chewing gum, snack crackers, instant drink powders, stationary, stamps, disposable pens and pencils, greeting cards, envelopes, batteries, playing cards, puzzle books, board games, dominoes and any hand-held games.
It only takes one person to make a difference.
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