Picture Above: Development Director Mandi Custer, Student Todd McCullough and Asst. Professor Nicole Blau ship 17 boxes of supplies to troops in Kosovo.
Lancaster – Collectively weighing more than 100 pounds, 17 boxes are on their way to Kosovo. The supplies inside the boxes were collected at the Ohio University Lancaster Campus and Pickerington Center. Lambda Pi Eta, an honor society on campus, conducted the supply drive.
"I'm really surprised and excited about the generosity of our campus," said Lambda Pi Eta Vice President Todd McCullough. "I didn't know what to expect. It's really inspiring to see all the stuff we collected at this time of year."
McCullough is the one who came up with the idea to collect supplies in honor of Ohio University Lancaster graduate Tommy Spellman. Spellman is now stationed in Kosovo.
Picture Above: Ohio University Lancaster graduate Tommy Spellman
"He's having a rough time," said Lambda Phi Eta Advisor and Assistant Professor of Communications Studies Nicole Blau. "We agreed that we would collect supplies and donations for his troops. We wanted to send something over there to give them a good Christmas."
Collection boxes were put out at the Lancaster Campus and the Pickerington Center. Faculty, staff, students and community members have been filling the boxes with items since the end of November. Local elementary school students also wrote letters to the troops that were shipped over with the supplies.
Picture Above: Letters written by local elementary school students to ship to the troops
"One of the hurdles we faced doing this project was shipping," said Lancaster Campus Development Director Mandi Custer. "Shipping to Kosovo is not cheap. So, we needed to look outside the university and conjure up some private support. We had more support than I ever thought we would."
The Lancaster Rotary Club donated funds, as well as rotary members Larry Ailes and Bob Competti. O.U. Lancaster Emeritus Professor Dennis Lupher, who is a veteran, also made a donation to help with shipping.
"This was first and foremost a student project. But, our wonderful community also pitched in and really made this possible," said Custer. "We really appreciate the support."
The supplies should arrive in Kosovo right before Christmas.