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The UK College of Education staff council is leading a donation drive of care package items for troops overseas throughout October. 

“The staff council has veterans and loved ones of veterans as well as active duty members and we decided to do this for the service members that are serving abroad,” said Stephanie Carpenter, a U.S. Air Force veteran and staff council chair.

The staff council will be delivering all donations of care package items for this service project to Military Missions, a local non-profit public charity in Lexington. Information regarding instructions for monetary donations to this charity and volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups can be referenced on the Military Missions website: https://military-missions.org/

Donation drop-off boxes are located at the Taylor Education Building outside of rooms 105 and room 166, and outside of College of Education Dickey Hall rooms 109 and 305-A, and Seaton room 205. 

“We have two donation drives a year,” said Sarah DeVriendt, a member of the staff council. “Typically, they will involve UK students, UK Children’s Hospital, and Big Blue Pantry.  In order to serve both military service men and women on campus as well as nationwide, we feel that this project allows us serve to the community here and loved ones not close to us.”

The donation drive will benefit Military Mission’s Operation S.E.N.D. Christmas project. 

UK students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to donate to this project.  Donations can be made throughout October. 

“These packages will be sent individual as well as to units outside of the US that are deemed in harm’s way,” DeVriendt said.  

While serving important practical needs for troops overseas, these care packages also serve as a comforting reminder of home. 

“You don’t realize what you would miss here until you’ve actually been deployed,” said Carpenter.  “Twizzlers, Little Debbie Cakes, popcorn, powered Gatorade, Cool-Aid, hot cocoa.  Those are just a few items they are looking to get that they would really appreciate over there.   You don’t realize you miss these items until you don’t have access to them.”

The deadline for all donations is November 1. The donation suggestion list includes the following items:

  • Personal care items: baby wipes (no tubs), eye drops, vaseline, nasal saline spray, foot powder, lip balm, tissues (travel size), female sanitary items, shampoo (travel size), lotion (travel size), and hand sanitizer (alcohol free) (travel size).   
  • Snack/drink/gift items: gum, candy, snack bars, cookies, playing cards, individual powdered drink mix, hot cocoa mix, jerky, popcorn, travel games.
  • Several items that cannot be donated include batteries, bars of soap, and chocolate.