After Vicki Vides, librarian at Caraway Intermediate School, hearing from her daughter Melissa and son-in-law, Army Staff Sergeant Austin Jenkins, stationed in Germany, that the single soldiers from his troop would be returning to bare barracks, she decided to do something to help them feel welcomed and appreciated.
“My son-in-law mentioned that the single solders will arrive a few weeks before Christmas after having been deployed to Afghanistan for seven months,” said Vides. “He said that their rooms would have beds and dressers but they would not have any bed sheets, pillows, blankets, hygiene items, nor snack foods.”
Vides shared this with colleagues. Pretty soon the staff members at Caraway Intermediate School, Orange Grove Elementary and Houston Intermediate School organized to collect items to send to the soldiers.
Deborah Collier, librarian at Orange Grove Elementary, headed the collection at her campus where students and staff members donated the requested items, made cards and/or donated cash in order to provide welcome home packages for nine soldiers.
Students at Houston Academy, headed up by teacher Mary Richardson, created cards to express their gratitude to the heroes to be included in their holiday packages.
Both Vides and Collier expressed they just wanted to do something for the soldiers.
“This was our way to help make this a happy holiday for these young women and men,” stated Vides.
Director of Written Communication & Spanish Media
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