Lake Highlands High School Student Council members were busy in February, collecting comfort items for soldiers serving overseas. The program, called HeroBox, connects individuals with military personnel who are currently stationed in active combat regions around the world.
The HeroBox website offers a brief description of each soldier, his or her background and how long they’re deployed. It shares the items they would appreciate receiving and enables emailing soldiers through the site. Student Council leaders hoped to support 10 soldiers and were overwhelmed with the response.
“We had enough donations to send gift boxes to 15 soldiers overseas,” says StuCo Sponsor Erin Chesal, “and the donations continue to trickle in. I’m sure we’ll be sending at least 1 or 2 more.”
Addison Berta, Student Council president, says he knew he wanted to join the military, even when he was young. He’s hoping to attend West Point or the U.S. Naval Academy in the fall. When researching service options, he says he naturally gravitated toward the project, which links students directly with service members.
“It feels great knowing that we can help, even just a little bit. I know that life is not easy away from home, and I know that even something as small as a care package can make a huge impact.”
Lauren Toungate, a member of StuCo’s leadership team, agrees.
“It’s great to know that simple things such as snacks, toothbrushes and deodorant can brighten their day even a little bit,” says Toungate. “We wanted to find a way give back to the men and women who serve our country every day.”
If you’d like to help, the drive for goods will continue until March 7th, and financial donations made out to LHHS Student Council will help with the $17.40 cost to ship each box. Contributions may be dropped in collection containers in the front office of each LHHS building, with suggested items including snacks that won’t melt (Girl Scout cookies, gummy bears, beef jerky) and nicer toiletries (Burt’s Bee chap stick, Glide dental floss).
Above all, say the kids, they appreciate the support of the community, and they know the soldiers appreciate the support of the folks back home.
Leading the HeroBox project are Student Council officers Addison Berta, Blake Addison, Holland Klemchuk and Lauren McPhail, and their leadership team of Erin Brackenridge, Cullen Bryant, Maclane Cadenhead, Kyle Klemme, Nick Taylor and Lauren Toungate.