Care package drive for soldiers is success with help from Snoqualmie Valley students

All six elementary schools in the Snoqualmie Valley School District contributed to the huge piles of hats, socks, instant cocoa, hand sanitizer, and toothpaste that were destined for a care package to a U.S. soldier.

American Legion Auxiliary members Suzy Cassidy and Pam Collingwood spent a recent November afternoon going through it all, with the help of Mount Si High School students Krista Cassidy, Sam O’Malie and Taylor Wiles.

As Cassidy went down the list of 30 names, all Marines with the Alpha Company, Fourth Landing, from Joint Base Lewis-McCord, Wiles was busy researching the names on her smartphone, to establish a gender for each.

“I like to put something a little more feminine in the boxes that are going to women,” Cassidy explained. Things like hair conditioner, or scented lotions, are especially appreciated, for example.

There’s only one woman in this group, so the work for the students is mostly a matter of sorting the items from the schools into piles of candy, food, reading material, personal items, and so on. Cassidy was planning to send the boxes, along with hand-drawn cards from various classes, by the week of Thanksgiving, and hope that they made it to the soldiers in time for the holidays.

She was gratified, in this difficult economy, by the results of the drive, which far exceeded the needs for these 30 care packages. Additional items will be sent in later care packages, or donated to the Veterans Administration hospitals, or Fisher Houses, the temporary housing for families of wounded soldiers who are staying in nearby hospitals.

“It’s not about spending the money, it’s about giving our support,” she says. “The best things are the kids’ drawing, the letters and cards, that means so much.”

Donations can continue to be dropped off at the post, 38625 S.E. River St., Snoqualmie.



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