By Anne Marie Amacher
FORT MADISON — Students in Jan Jacobs’ religion classes at Holy Trinity Catholic Junior/Senior High School bundled up Christmas cards, good wishes, books of mazes and other games Dec. 4 for U.S. soldiers.
The Christmas packages are destined for soldiers deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Hawaii and stateside, including those getting ready to be re-deployed. This is the sixth year Jacobs has organized the project.
She said she came up with the idea because she wanted to offer a service project for her classes. “I wanted the students to think of someone who is not necessarily in a comfortable position.”
The service project also becomes a current events lesson. Jacobs noted that many times the eighth-grade students don’t know much about Iraq and Afghanistan. This gives her the opportunity to reflect on those countries and what U.S. service men and women do for their country and to give thanks for their contribution.
“Most of (the students) have had little exposure to what is going on. Most don’t know what war is about.”
Students, teachers, staff and others were asked to submit names of loved ones or friends serving the United States. This year six names were submitted.
The greetings and games were assembled and placed in Priority Mail envelopes last week. Students brought some money for postage, but Jacobs often picks up the majority of the cost to ship the care packages. “They should get their packages by Christmas,” Jacobs said.
In the past she has heard back from some recipients who said they shared the cards and letters with fellow soldiers and enjoy playing the mazes and games. “It gives them something to do in a bunker or foxhole,” she said.