Mailing a ‘hug’

Alcoa Middle students gather goodies for soldiers

Snack time took on a whole new meaning at Alcoa Middle School.

For the third year, students assembled 300 care packages full of snack items for soldiers serving in Afghanistan in partnership with the organization “Hugs for Our Soldiers.”

Sue Martin, a seventh grade teacher at AMS, organized the efforts. She said students donated things like granola bars, hot chocolate and gum. The snacks were packed in Ziploc bags with Christmas paper.

Martin said students brought in a large amount of snacks. “Our kids are just really good about that. They jump on board to make it happen.”

She said that parents play a large role in supporting the efforts. “Parents are really the ones who donate. They are always willing to support their kids and the things that we value at the school.”

Martin received help from fellow teacher Lon Fox who organized his team of seventh and eighth graders to form an assembly line for sorting snacks and packing the bags.

She said students also made cards for the soldiers. “They like to get involved; especially the cards to thank them for all they do.”

Kathy Orcutt, president of Hugs for Our Soldiers, picked up the packages and mailed them to the soldiers overseas.

Martin said this project hits home for several students. “A lot of them have people in their family who are in the military.”

She said supporting the troops is on-going at the school. Martin said the principal, Jim Kirk, encourages students, staff and faculty to wear red, white and blue every Wednesday in support of the troops.

Martin said providing care packages was something the entire school hopes “will make the soldiers’ Christmas a little more special.”

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