Service Project Provides Soldiers in Afghanistan Comforts From Home
November 2, 2009
Thanks to a Catawba College service project, soldiers in Afghanistan have been receiving some comforts from home since August. Three separate shipments, a total of 110 packages, have been shipped to soldiers in the 159th Air Support Battalion, 563d Trans Platoon, part of the 101st Airborne Division stationed at Ft. Campbell Kentucky. The battalion is currently serving at Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, Afghanistan.
The service project, spearheaded by Catawba's Office of Student Affairs, has rallied members of the campus community and the community at large, including local VFWs, nursing homes, and veterans, to donate requested items including Tootsie Rolls, Skittles, Starbursts, gum, mints, candy products, beef jerky, crossword puzzle books, magazines and notes or letters of encouragement. Most recently, the College sent a shipment of Cheerwine and Cheerwine cake (Apple Baking) which were huge hits, especially for the N.C. soldiers, according to Catawba Dean of Students Dan Sullivan.
Sullivan noted that his contact in the battalion reports that "conditions have been tough the last few weeks with increased insurgent activity and earthquakes measuring 6.0 and above." He added that these soldiers are seeing daily mortar attacks on the camps and military convoys.
One of the soldiers wrote in correspondence to Sullivan: "It is easy to forget how much these simple pleasures are missed when stationed in such remote areas."
Lately, the soldiers have asked for candy, beef jerky, hand wipes, body wash, microwaveable food, magazines, puzzle books, sunflower seeds, and DVDs. Cash donations are also needed to ship the boxes at a cost of $11.95 each. Plans are to send another round of packages out before Thanksgiving and to include some Thanksgiving dinner items in these.
Members of the Salisbury-Rowan community are encouraged to participate in this service project. Items to be donated may be dropped off in the Student Affairs Offices located in the Cannon Student Center on campus or call for more information at (704) 637-4410.