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Heritage students ‘adopt’ soldiers in Kuwait City

Heritage Elementary School sixth-graders realized they can make a difference by remembering 24 soldiers stationed in Kuwait City, Kuwait.

Heritage sixth-graders Kobe Vance, from left, Mallory Lott and MaryGrace D'Antonio survey donations for soldiers in Kuwait. (Photo courtesy of Danielle Dixon)

Teacher Danielle Dixon constantly looks for ways to emphasize the importance of giving back to the community. “My room mom researched different available programs to connect us with the soldiers. She found adoptaussoldier.org to partner us with the troops,” Dixon said.

Dixon used the idea as a service-learning project for the sixth-graders in social studies. Participation was optional.

Dixon’s class learned that the soldiers in Kuwait City don’t have Internet access or any way to purchase personal supplies.

“The response from students and parents was overwhelming,” Dixon said. They collected and shipped 23 boxes, some weighing almost 20 pounds. Students donated toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, medicine, lip balm, snacks, magazines, card games, footballs and other items.

In addition, each sixth-grader wrote a letter of gratitude “for everything the soldiers do for our country. Each soldier will receive four or five of these letters,” Dixon said.

Sixth-grader Kayla Whitmark hopes the letters help. “I know this is hard for you because, when my dad goes away on business trips, it is hard,” Kayla wrote. “I hope you guys are allowed to come home soon.”

Anna Townsend thanked the soldiers. “We really appreciate it. I know it’s hard on you and your family,” Anna said.

“Thank you for serving our country. You’ve done great honor to us,” Morgan Bledsoe wrote. “My dad is in the military so I know how hard it is to be away from family.”

“If it wasn’t for you, we would probably be taken over by some other country,” Michael Flynn wrote. “I know how you feel. I know what you do because my dad was in the military and was gone most of the time.”

Room mom Christy Ruble packed, itemized and shipped the boxes. When Ruble was at the post office, a stranger donated $20.

“These sixth-graders learned a great lesson — even at their age they can truly make a difference in this world,” Dixon said.

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