Thanks to generous donations from students, staff and community members, Moraine Park Technical College’s “Christmas in a Shoebox” donation drive exceeded its 2017 goal and set a new record. The drive’s purpose was to collect, package and ship donated items to area military members this holiday season.
Organizers of the drive aimed to gather and package enough donations to fill 100 boxes. This year’s event ended up with far more, totaling in at 175 boxes– up from last year’s record total of 150.
“The fact that we not only met the goal, but far surpassed it, is exciting because it means that more members of our military will know that we are thinking of them and thankful for them this holiday season,” said Lisa Manuell, Lead – Student Life at Moraine Park.
Manuell said the event was a collaborative effort between the College and community. The Beaver Dam Student Senate co-sponsored “Christmas in a Shoebox” with Moraine Park’s Student Veterans Association and Bright Futures of Beaver Dam, an organization that provides employment solutions for people with disabilities.
Items were gathered and collected at all three Moraine Park campuses throughout October and early November. From there, community members, faculty, staff, students and clubs helped sort, count and packed items on Wednesday, Nov. 8.
Sending the record-setting number of donation boxes to troops overseas will happen courtesy of LeAnn Boudwine and Support the Troops WI of Hartford, which helps send care packages to military members.
Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Pepper, U.S. Army (Ret) and Moraine Park’s student veteran specialist, was appreciative of this wide array of help and generosity that poured in for “Christmas in a Shoebox.” He said he knows first-hand what care packages mean to those who receive them.
“I can speak from personal experience that getting a package from family is great, but when you receive something from others it lets you know that those outside your family circle cared enough to spend time, money and effort collecting items to be shipped to someone they don’t even know,” Pepper said.
The “Christmas in a Shoebox” name reflects the fact that any items donated were required to be new and no larger than shoe box-sized. Donations of personal hygiene items, snacks, magazines, books, movies and more were collected this year.
For more information on Moraine Park’s veteran services, visit morainepark.edu/veterans.