Sociology students organize project to ship holiday care packages to sailors stationed aboard USS Cole
NEWPORT, R.I. – As part of a service project, sociology students in Mea Simanski’s intro class at Salve Regina University will assemble about 250 Christmas care packages and ship them to U.S. Navy sailors stationed aboard the USS Cole, the guided-missile destroyer currently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea.
The students are launching a campaign to collect gift donations and will assemble the packages all on the same day, Thursday, Dec. 6 from 10a.m. to 4 p.m. in the State Dining Room of Ochre Court, 100 Ochre Point Ave. Members of the Salve Regina University community and the general public are invited to drop off gift items (see suggested list below) throughout the day.
Note cards and paper will be available for people to hand-write personalized thank-you messages for the service personnel, while student volunteers will work to package the gifts and prepare them for shipment. When completed, representatives from the U.S. Navy War College will collect the care packages for subsequent shipment to the USS Cole, estimated to take two weeks.
This isn’t the first year Simanski and her students have sent care packages to active military personnel overseas. Last year, students sent care packages to U.S. Marines deployed in an undisclosed location; in 2010, they sent care packages to soldiers serving in Afghanistan for the holidays; and in 2009, students worked with local disabled adults to create care packages for soldiers serving in Iraq.
For the USS Cole project, Simanski is working directly with LTJG Briana Wildemann, a 2005 Middletown High School graduate who is currently serving as the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Officer aboard the USS Cole. Current students at Middletown High School will be helping collect donations and writing personal letters to include in the care packages.
Suggested items for donation:
Healthy snacks (Granola, breakfast bars, dried fruit, etc)
Candy (gummy bears, sweedish fish, peanut butter M&Ms, mini-size candy bars, etc)
Sun flower seeds
VIA Starbucks coffee packs
Microwave food (Ramen, easy-mac, popcorn, etc.)
Crystal light/propel drink packs
Jerky and slim jims
Coffee and flavored creamers
Smell good lotions
Easy floss sticks
Fun nail polish
Chap stick/lip balm
Hand sanitizer (standard and/or fruity smelling)
Black boot socks
Air fresheners (not requiring plug in)
Laundry detergent packets (non liquid)
Blue Hanes T-Shirts
Holiday gear (Christmas, New Years)
Stationary and stamps
Sudoku and cross word books
Hand and feet warmers
Black ear warmer
Gift cards (amazon, itunes, GNC, VISA pre-paid)
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