This year, the students serving on the Faculty and Staff for Student Excellence Advisory Board decided to show our support and gratitude to Indiana soldiers serving overseas by sending care packages for the holiday season.
We consulted with the campus Veterans Support Services office to ensure we would provide soldiers with the items they needed and would be excited to receive. These items included power bars, coffee, baby wipes, tissues, gum, and IU gear. In addition, we also asked our protégés and mentors to write letters to the soldiers to include in the packages.
When we first started working on the project, we realized how fast the expenses would add up. Shipping alone would be over $100, and our unit could range from 50-250 soldiers. We wanted to supply enough packages for at least 50 soldiers.
Our fundraising goal was $500, which would cover shipping costs as well as supply items for 50 soldiers. We started fundraising the first week of October by canning at Wal-Mart and on Kirkwood Avenue. In addition, our members created a GoFundMe page to share with our family, friends, and the IU campus.
After a month of planning and fundraising, we raised over $700. We planned a shopping trip to purchase the items for the packages and were able to buy more than we originally thought: 150 power bars, 50 packs of coffee singles, 50 packages of baby wipes, 102 packs of gum, and 72 packs of tissues. In addition, we also collected and purchased IU gear, including T-shirts and two IU flags.
The Bloomington community, as well as our friends and family, were more than generous with their donations. We greatly appreciate the support we received for our “Holiday Packages for Soldiers” project.
With the success of the project this year, we hope to continue to send holiday packages in the future. And we hope the packages are able to bring happiness to the soldiers receiving them and help to bring them a little piece of home.