Archive for Thursday, December 22, 2005

LHS grads send care packages to soldiers

December 22, 2005

Making money, even for a good cause, wasn't as easy as two 2005 Lansing High School graduates and their classmates hoped it would be.

Christine Southard and Jessica Kane, Lansing graduates who are now freshmen at Kansas City Kansas Community College, were trying to raise money to send gifts to U.S. Army soldiers serving in Iraq as a semester project in their leadership class. Although the dollars raised fell short of their goal and the project took three weeks longer than planned, Southard said she felt happy about the outcome.

The group started its project in October, asking businesses and individuals for donations to help the cause. In the beginning, Southard said the group hoped to send personal items to soldiers in bags decorated by students from Basehor Elementary School. Southard's group also planned to make a DVD of the Basehor students thanking soldiers for their service. They intended to send the packages at the beginning of November so they would arrive by Thanksgiving.

In the end, the group did raise money - about $250. Southard said the group had not set a concrete goal, but she had hoped to raise $500. Still, she said $250 "was a really great outcome."

The thank-you DVD for the soldiers did go according to plan, Southard said, but the idea for the gifts to buy with the money changed as the project evolved. She found out that the Army provides necessities, and soldiers can buy personal items in stores on base, so the group decided to buy "a few items that can be used by many people" in addition to individual items, Southard said. The group purchased poker sets, movie DVDs, puzzles, deodorant, soap, lotions, batteries and other items. The package weighed 37 pounds, Southard said.

The group also stretched its timetable, sending the package Nov. 23. Southard said group members had other priorities that pushed back the original deadline.

"November 4 kind of went out the window," Southard said. She said the package should arrive in time for Christmas.

As her teacher no doubt intended, Southard said she would take away several lessons from the project.

"This has definitely been a learning experience for all of us," she said. "I think that I would be more adamant about time constrictions : I would learn from the time mistakes we've made and work on those."

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