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Sterling Tunget (right), 10, of Peru and her 5-year-old sister Lauren prepare to fill boxes with donated goods for U.S. troops overseas. Teachers, parents and students at Northview School in Peru have been collecting care package items this year to send to soldiers in Afghanistan through the Hero Box program. Northview school packs up for the troops. NewsTribune photo/Matthew Baker
Students, parents and teachers at Northview School in Peru linked up with a U.S. troop in Afghanistan to send them what they need.
They gathered Wednesday afternoon in the gym to box up supplies for mailing. Each package was marked with “HeroBox,” a nonprofit organization that provides care packages to soldiers. HeroBox linked a troop with the school so supplies could be customized for each soldier.
Families of students sent food and supplies to the school starting about a month ago. Kindergarten teacher Chris Goodman coordinated it.
“What a perfect way for us to tie everything together that we’re doing this year,” Goodman said.
The school launched a reading project called “Superhero,” which promises that reading will give students “super powers,” Goodman said.
At 10 a.m. Friday is the school’s Veterans Day program — “So the kids could make the correlation between the real superheroes and the fictional ones we’re reading about,” Goodman said.
Julie Pacholski, parent of first-grader Kaitlyn, helped pack Wednesday.
“I have a lot of friends with family members who are overseas and they say it’s very important to them,” she said.
The Girl Scout troop from Washington School made Christmas stockings filled with handwritten letters. Both schools included class photos.
The supplies included food and snacks, hygiene supplies and everyday items like batteries.
“I suspect they share a lot of this with the Afghanis,” Goodman said.
There also were toothbrushes. The receiving troop is teaching Afghani children the importance of brushing their teeth, Goodman said. Northview’s adopted troop, on its own time, converted a burned-out restaurant at Bagram airfield into a school, Goodman said.
The school will send 40 boxes. (Their goal had been 14 boxes — one per class.) Shipping is expensive. School custodian Dio Rios helped out. He gathered supplies through donations at the La Salle-Peru Council of Knights of Columbus and collected cash to help defray shipping costs.
“Hopefully they’ll have enough to get them all sent out,” Rios said.
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