Spain Park students pack care boxes for U.S. military service members

HOOVER – Hundreds of U.S. military men and women serving overseas will receive care packages during the holiday season because of the efforts of Spain Park High School students and local businesses and organizations.

Students in 18 Social Studies classes in ninth-12th grades coordinated with the SPHS Armed Forces Club to complete a two-day partnering project with outside help from parents, patriotic businesses and professional organizations to assemble boxes full of supplies and words of encouragement.

“There is a keen desire at Spain Park to exercise a measure of gratitude toward those who serve us and have placed the preservation of our liberty above their own self-interest,” Armed Forces Club sponsor M.O. “Buzz” Williams said. “Students and faculty have a genuine desire to support those on active duty overseas and assure them of our steadfast support.”

On Nov. 4 and Nov. 5, students packed several hundred boxes with toiletries, food snacks, underclothing, incidentals and handwritten thank-you notes for military men and women.

Williams said non-profit organization Support Our Soldiers will mail the boxes to military personnel by late November, in time for Christmas and Hanukkah.

“Those businesses and professional organizations who have a part in this worthwhile work were asked to make a voluntary gift card donation, goods-in-kind donation or check made out to Spain Park High School, Armed Forces Club,” Williams said. “This is the time for good citizenship, demonstrable unity and patriotism in support of the U.S. military.”

Williams said for students the project served as an extension of blended learning, a multi-faceted approach that balances lectures and classroom assignments with hands-on activities.

“That’s how they learn, and that’s how they become stakeholders,” Williams said.

SPHS has conducted the military boxes project for several years, primarily to remind the men and women serving overseas that their country loves them and has not forgotten them.

After last year’s boxes were sent, Capt. Kevin D. Ryan, USMC, Bagram, Afghanistan, wrote to express his personal thanks on behalf of the men and women in his company for the effort made to provide the care packages.