Earlier this month, Scranton Public School students united under one mission: show brave men and women who fight for the freedom the United States that their sacrifices are not unnoticed. With the combined efforts of friends, parents, the Lutheran Church, and even strangers, the mission was accomplished as the students sent out gift boxes to a whopping 771 soldiers currently deployed. The soldiers receiving the gift packages are those who will unfortunately not be able to make it home to spend time with their families this holiday season.
By Andy Roehl
Karyn Chiapella, teacher, headed the operation with an unwavering passion for supporting US troops. Since 2002, Chiapella has consistently rallied students every year to promote the cause sending our soldiers a little something to let them know they haven’t been forgotten. Chiapella attributes the 9/11 attacks to her initiative to never stop appreciating soldiers for what they do. “Regardless of politics, you support the guys and gals over there.” Said Chiapella, who mentioned two websites she utilizes to get in touch with soldiers in need of supplies. www.anysoldier.com and www.adoptaussoldier.org are her recommended outlets to get started. “Soldiers need sweaters and sacks and blankets.” Said Chiapella who is adamant to going above and beyond to meet the modest requests.
Students also attacked hunger by sending a hearty amount of beef jerky and protein bars. Leftover Halloween candy was also donated to keep the soldiers fed. Chiapella praised the students for their generosity and hopes to spread future operations to surrounding communities. Before teaching in Scranton, Chiapella worked in Michigan where she started the yearly tradition which continues to muster overwhelming support. “It’s commitment. We’re not stopping until it’s over. Whatever your mission is, go out and do it”, said Chiapella.