Pack treats for troops with eighth-graders

Eighth-grade students at Langley Middle School are stuffing care packages and writing thank-you letters Thursday to send to the U.S. troops in Iraq.

Students in the school’s leadership class — which is hosting the event — hope members of the community join them to assemble the holiday packages for the troops.

Students will gather in the LMS cafeteria at 7 p.m.

“We are hoping people from the community will join us for a few minutes or for the full 90 minutes,” said Machela Mattens, a member of the leadership class.

“We want the troops to know we are thinking about them, especially during this holiday season.”

The project is the brainchild of South Whidbey resident Amber Kizer, who enlisted the assistance of the leadership class to make it happen.

In preparation for the evening of wrapping and writing, students have amassed donations of items, ranging from shampoo to books, from local businesses.

Suggested items for care packages include gum, energy bars, hot chocolate, coffee snack foods, toiletries, bug repellent, sunscreen, eye drops, playing cards, games, current magazines and paperback books. LMS teacher Lynn Malecki said they are also collecting decorative tins to keep rats out of food products.

items, which can be dropped off at the school during the day or brought that evening.

Malecki said the class is also adding all of the local graduates to the list to show Whidbey Island cares about them.

Hospitals around the country are also on the list for the donations.

“The wounded come home and have nothing. Some are in the hospital for months,” Malecki said.

New t-shirts, sweats, jeans and backpacks are needed for those in recovery.

“They have nothing and that’s not OK with us,” said Caleb Nerrison, another student involved in the project.

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