Stockings for Soldiers

Meyersdale Area School District  |  Posted on

Meyersdale Area Middle and High School students donated thousands of items for the annual Stockings for Soldiers Drive. Many area organizations, businesses and individuals also provided cash donations to cover the cost of postage for more than 70 boxes to be sent to local men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Boxes were packed up and mailed in order to arrive in time for Christmas by student volunteers, including Meyersdale Middle School Student Council members, (back row) Izabella Donaldson, Allyson Gray, Morgan Walters, Zoe Hetz, Ginger Geiger and Tammy Hetrick; and (front row) Laurel Daniels, Mahaley Knopsnyder, Kyley Emerick and Bryson Hetz. Geiger and Hetrick served as the coordinators for this very special project.

The first annual Stockings for Soldiers was a huge hit! Students at the Meyersdale Area High and Middle Schools donated thousands of items for local brave men and women in the United States Armed Forces. The District has held a food drive for soldiers for many years but decided to revamp the initiative this year to bring a bit more holiday spirit to these brave women and men.

Organizers, Tammy Hetrick and Ginger Geiger, said they were overwhelmed by the level of generosity demonstrated by the students, staff and faculty and the community .

“We were able to send over 75 boxes to be shared with over 150 men and women, from Somerset County, who are serving in our Armed Forces,” explained Hetrick.

Items collected for these special men and women included: toothpaste, toothbrushes, puzzle books, magazines, card games, candy canes, individually wrapped hard candy, bubble gum, protein, granola and breakfast bars, sunflower seeds, trail mix, individual cookie or pretzel packets, beef jerky, single packet flavored drink mixes, and personal care items, such as shaving cream, razors, deodorant, chapstick and sunscreen.

“This effort hits close to home for me as my son is in the U.S. Army. We have been lucky that he has not been deployed overseas, but it is difficult to have him far from home for the holidays. I think about how hard it must be for those brave men and women to be so far away from home, especially for those overseas. As a mom, that makes my heart hurt because to me, family is everything.” Hetrick explained. “We want to make sure they all know they are in our thoughts, hearts and prayers.”

Stockings for Soldiers required a great deal of planning and work to execute, both by organizers and students, but for all involved, it was a true labor of love. Students assisted organizers in collecting, organizing and packing the boxes to be mailed. The Meyersdale Area School District is deeply appreciative of the support shown to this project and grateful for the continued support of the community.

“I am so grateful that your sons, daughters, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, cousins, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, and grandparents chose to serve in this great nations armed forces. Coming from a family with several service members and working in a school district, I know and see how families are affected due to the absence of loved ones.” Geiger stated. “ I would like to wish the many family members sitting home this Christmas without their loved ones a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! You are in my thoughts and prayers this holiday season.”