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Troops to receive care packs

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Eddie Isiordia, Tony Corona, Michael Bermudez and J.T. Gonzalez (L-R) individually wrap 'cool ties' for soldiers overseas. The ties help keep the soldiers' necks cool in the desert heat.

During this year's Fall Festival in Connell, Sunnyside High School teacher Erin Ferguson met some representatives from the group, U.S. Troop Care Package, based in Pasco.

U.S. Troop Care Package was founded March 19, 2003, and is a volunteer organization that sends care packages to U.S. troops deployed overseas and to the wounded at U.S. military hospitals.

The organization receives requests from family and friends of troops, the troops themselves, and from commanding officers requesting care packages for their troops.

Each package U.S. Troop Care Package sends overseas contains a card that reads:

"Our community extends our deepest appreciation and gratitude for all that you do for our country. YOU make all of us proud to be Americans."

"I thought it would be a great community service project for my students," Ferguson said.

She asked how she could get involved with the project and after some time coordinating everything, her students started helping out last week.

The students are just laborers, said Ferguson. Fifteen boxes of items were delivered to the students last Tuesday.

These boxes held all kinds of items, such as toiletries, snacks, writing material, books, games and an 'operation comfort' pillow.

The job for the introduction to marketing and student store class students was to individually wrap the items so they could be packaged at the Pasco site.

Forty students helped package up enough items for approximately 100 care packages. They spent three days packaging hand sanitizing lotion, deodorants and body wash. There were also Kleenex packs, disposable razors and the all-important foot powder, as well.

"The biggest reason we did this is so the students can become a part of the community," Ferguson said. "It's a way for the students to give back to the community. I also wanted to create an awareness of the military and how students are being protected and served by them."

She added, this was a good way to bring that information to them.

The student's reaction has been positive and some even brought items in themselves. Most know someone serving or who has served in Iraq or Afghanistan.

"It's a good way to help our troops," student Eddie Isiordia said.

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