Students give Red Cross care packages for military families

Photo courtesy of Orleans/Niagara BOCES – These students include from left: Seth Warriner (Lyndonville), Jonathan Scroth (Lyndonville), Ryan Burbee (Lockport), Shawnsea Swiatowy (Lockport) and Morgan Hahn (Royalton-Hartland).

Posted 20 December 2018 at 4:35 pm

Press Release from Orleans/Niagara BOCES

MEDINA – SkillsUSA students at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center recently partook in a community service activity for military personnel and their families.

The students took some of the proceeds from their annual craft fair and chose to use the money towards two Red Cross-sponsored activities, “Holidays for Heroes Comfort Kit Program” and “Activity Kits for Military Children.”

Suggested items for the comfort kits were toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, shaving cream, nail clippers, toothpaste, combs, razors and gum. For children’s kits they recommended coloring/activity books, crayons, colored pencils, washable markers, stickers, puzzles, books, craft kits, fruit chews, hand sanitizer and games. The students put together over 100 care packages.

SkillsUSA Advisor, Kara Kirk took the senior chapter officers shopping and says she was impressed with the students’ skills.

“They spent a lot of time at the Dollar Tree looking at labels on the hygiene products and toys for the children and trying to figure out what was appropriate,” she said. “They were also trying to get the most bang for their buck, so they would have more to give.”

After the SkillsUSA officers’ shopping excursion, all the SkillsUSA students spent a day making Christmas cards and packaging their purchases into kits at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center. The SkillsUSA officers say it was important for all of them to let the military personnel know how much they appreciate what they have done for our country.

Lisa Taibi, who is in charge of the Services to Armed Forces and International Services for the Red Cross, says she was impressed with the number of kits the students donated.

“I am just overwhelmed and grateful for what Mrs. Kirk and the students do for our veterans,” Taibi said. “The comfort kits will be distributed to veterans and their families in VA hospitals, during various homeless stand downs, valor days and other military fairs and gatherings across Western and Central New York Region after the holiday season and throughout the year. The activity kits will be distributed to military children at Yellow Ribbon events, family days or anything military related. They are geared towards keeping children occupied while mom and dad attend trainings or informational meetings. We are so grateful to what the students here at BOCES have done for our veterans. This is truly a wonderful thing they have done.”

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