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HHS military group seeks donations for care packages

Dani Truax, Peter Schultz and Cody Wagner are active Hastings High School students. But they share a bond with about 20 to 30 other students in that members of their families are currently serving in the military. Several have been, or are already, deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Through the Hastings High School Military Support Group, the students find support, friendship and ways to help members and their families.

They are currently in the midst of one such project now at the high school - a sock drive which leads to a sock toss next week. The socks will be included in care packages the group will pack and send off to military members.

This is the third year the care packages have become part of the military support group's efforts. The socks are an important part.

"We're collecting tube socks this week," said Wagner. "They are so important for the members of the military."

"They run out of them" said Schultz.

What the group is asking of students, and anyone in the community who is interested, is to bring new socks to the school. The fourth-hour classes are collecting them this week. Plus, a sock collection box will be located in the high school counseling office (right next to the commons area).

Then, next Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 22 to Nov. 24, students and staff will participate in a sock toss during the lunch hours. For $1, a student gets three chances to toss the socks in the can. Prizes are awarded. Money raised from the sock toss will be used to buy items for the care packages and for postage.

The packages will contain snacks, toiletries, socks - items needed by the military.

The military support group is seeking names/addresses of people in the military. Group members will have a booth at the annual Gobble Gait next Thursday, Nov. 25 to gather the names and any donations from the community.

One of the most important donations are hand-written messages on cards, said Schultz.

"It's the personal thought that counts," he said.

The care packages will be packed and sent off by Dec. 13.

The advisors for the high school military support group are Melissa Bezotte and Justin Hahn. The group meets every other Friday at the high school. The group is an important support element for the students.

For Truax, it has been an important part of her life for five years -since Middle School.

"I didn't know if there was such a group here and it is comforting to know that others are going through the same stuff," she said.

Schultz appreciates the support from other students and from the community - he specifically mentioned the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon community effort.

"You do feel at home with others experiencing the same thing," said Wagner.

And they want to help and believe the care packages are one way to do it.

Anyone interested in donating new tube socks can drop them off at the high school. Toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant are welcome and appreciated. Cash donations will also be used to buy items and for postage.

For more information, contact Bezotte or Hahn at the high school.