Students Collect Items for the Troops


Anneliese Kail

This holiday season the students of Greater Latrobe High School got to experience the joys of giving back to the men and women of the military. The Interact Club held the drive collecting various needed items and supplies for the troops which was started on November 16 and ran until November 30. During this time students were encouraged to bring in various items including toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, conditioner, shampoo, soap, razors, lotion, pens, pencils, magazines, underwear, socks, and shirts. Upon bringing them to school the items were then collected in boxes stationed in the students’ English classes. Wherever these items go they will undoubtedly be much appreciated.

This tradition of students donating to the troops isn’t new to the school. The supply drive was started three years ago when Katie Douds, now graduated, was president of the Interact club. Douds was inspired to start the drive because “she just thought it was something important to do…it was something to do,” said Christy Douds, Katie’s sister.

History teacher, Mr. Snyder, who is in charge of the drive, believes continuing the tradition is important. He said, “Our troops sacrifice so much for us, it’s the least we could do to help them.”

Besides the supply drive, high school students have other ways of expressing gratitude to our troops. In several history classes the students were given the chance to make Christmas cards to be sent to the troops as well. Each writer created a short message and decorated a card to be delivered. Having offered his students a chance to make the cards, history teacher Mr. Ferraro  said, “ I think it’s important for soldiers to receive direct personal appreciation from the younger audience.”

It’s not just the troops who are benefiting from this experience, but the students should also gain from it. Both Snyder and Ferraro believe lessons that can be learned, and there’s satisfaction in it for the students. By making a few sacrifices themselves, students are able to give back to those that give their time and lives for them. “It’s also beneficial for students to appreciate what’s being done for them. This brings recognition back to a group of people who will not have a good Christmas, or will have a difficult Christmas away from home, Ferraro said,” The cards and the drive are both amazing ways for the student body to come together and do our part in supporting our troops. Snyder concluded, “I hope they get a newfound respect for the sacrifices that others make for their freedom.”