- Cheri Russo Communications and Marketing Manager
Lancaster – For the second year, Lambda Pi Eta is conducting a "Support Your Troops Supply Drive" for U.S. troops stationed overseas. The supplies will be collected for about three weeks and sent to troops in Afghanistan. The collection started on November 13 and will run through December 9. Collection boxes are in the North Lobby of Brasee Hall, on the 3rd floor of Brasee Hall and at the Pickerington Center.
"With the major conflict over, it slips a lot of people's minds that there are still troops being deployed for long periods of time," said Lambda Pi Eta President Keith Warner. "This particular battalion will be deployed for a total of a year. They've already been deployed for six months, and they are out for another six months."
"Every day the U. S. troops bravely defend our country and our freedom," said Lambda Pi Eta Advisor Nicole Blau. "Collecting supplies is just a small token of our appreciation. The troops will not be able to be with loved ones during the holiday season, so we are hopeful that these supplies will make the holidays just a little bit brighter. "
Supplies needed include hand/feet warmers, toiletries, beef jerky, hot cocoa packets and games to pass the time.
"They're in the mountains of Afghanistan, and they spend a lot of time outdoors," said Warner. "The hand and feet warmers come in real handy for them. They also like envelopes and stationary to write their family and friends."
Students from East Elementary in Lancaster are writing letters to the troops which will be sent over with the supplies when collected.
"The children decorate the cards, and they turn out really, really well," said Warner. "A lot of the troops have children the same age, so to see things come out of the classroom and make it overseas to them is very special. It adds a little extra touch.It's not just supplies, it is support."
Last year, Lambda Pi Eat sent 17 boxes of supplies collected on campus to troops in Kosovo. Tommy Spellman, an OUL graduate, was one of the soldiers who received the supplies. Spellman was an Ohio University Lancaster Student of the Month in February, 2012.
"We had a very successful supply drive for Tommy Spellman last year," said Warner. "We're looking to continue that and do good things this year too. We hope this will become an annual event."
Lambda Pi Eta is an honors group for communication majors on the OUL campus. The Lancaster Campus chapter has about 10 members. Each semester the organization does a fundraising activity and a service-oriented activity.
Faculty, staff, students and community members are being encouraged to donate supplies to the drive. The goal is to have the supplies delivered to the troops in December in time for the holidays.
"It's just a good drive to raise awareness of where our troops are," said Warner. "Just coming off Veterans Day, it's a good time to remember where are troops are this time of year."