Students Bring Christmas to Troops

Students Bring Christmas to Troops

Briar Woods DECA students collect items for 465 care packages.

About 75 volunteers, including students, parents and neighbors, showed up at Briar Woods High School Thursday evening to collect, sort and package gifts and donations for military personnel overseas.

The school’s DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) students undertook the effort just a week earlier, soliciting donations throughout the community with the goal of gathering enough items to make 350 care packages and enough money to mail them, said marketing teacher Heather VanDyke. On Thursday, volunteers assembled 465 care packages.

Briar Woods’ contribution is part of the nonprofit Operation Homefront’s holiday initiative. The organization provided the school with a list of items needed by National Guard and military reserve troops, and packages included hand sanitizer, foot powder, beef jerky, Slim Jims, candy, travel games, playing cards, poker chips and other gifts, said Van Dyke. She said the soliciting the goods served as a hands-on marketing model for the students.

Marketing teacher Martha Belote, who coordinated the effort, said the students still needed about another $1,000 to mail the unexpectedly large number of packages. Collections to cover postage will continue through Friday, Dec. 21.