May 20 • 11:56 AM

Students reach out to soldiers

Capac student council seeks names for packages to be sent to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan

March 12, 2008
CAPAC — They're looking for a few good men. And women.

The Capac Middle School Student Council wants to bring a little cheer to the drudgery and stress of the day-in-day-out life of a soldier at war.

They're hoping local folks will provide the names and addresses of people they know who are currently serving overseas.

It was right around Thanksgiving time when the student council came up with the idea.

While enjoying the bounty of the season, they thought about the soldiers at war in Iraq and Afghanistan and how different their holidays were.

A few students mentioned they had relatives serving overseas, and from there the spark was lit.

"At first they said 'let's take care of our soldiers during the holidays,'" Student Council Advisor Mary Sokacz says. "But then they thought 'what about another time of year to let them know we're still thinking of them?'"

About 32 students embarked on their mission to collect donations for care packages to send to the troops. The boxes are packed and ready to go, and now the students hope community members will help address them.

"We're hoping people will give us names and addresses of local people who are serving overseas," Sokacz says. "I know there are a handful of area kids, and we'd like to make sure they get a little bit of home sent to them."

After coming off a successful community service campaign called 'Small Change to Make a Big Difference,' the students decided to spread their good works overseas.

"We've done a lot of things for the local food pantries and soup kitchens," Sokacz says. "They came up with the idea of doing something different, and I'm really proud of them."

The small change campaign raised about $600, Sokacz says, simply through the collection of loose change through canisters in classrooms, the cafeteria and office.

"It helps teach kids that change does add up to make a big change for something," Sokacz says.

As advisor for the past seven years, she adds that she's always impressed with the thoughtfulness and generosity of the students and community at large.

"I think it's amazing," Sokacz says. "Every year the students come up with a good cause and a good idea and there's always a good response."

This time they weren't expecting such positive results, Sokacz says, because of the current economic conditions.

"I am amazed at how much they did bring in," she says. "Everyone got together to help for a bigger cause."

If you'd like to help the students complete their mission and know of someone serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, contact Capac Middle School Student Council Advisor Mary Sokacz at 395-3774.

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