In our busy lives, we often forget that there are American servicemen and women fighting overseas to protect our security. Being so far away from home is hard, and during the holidays they can feel particularly isolated and homesick. This December, students in the Pearl River School District made certain to let our servicemen and women know they have not been forgotten, through a wonderful program called 'Every Soldier Matters.'
The program, which focused on a letter writing campaign acknowledging soldiers overseas, was the brainchild of five students who belonged to the Yellow Ribbon Club at Pearl River High School: Sara Roberts, Terrence Hughs, Nikita Mehta, William Lutz and Grace Kocubinski .
"The incentive for the program came directly from the kids," explains Pearl River Principal William Furdon. "Sara's aunt, who is a teacher in Westchester, had implemented a similar program in her county, but over time the letters became fewer and fewer. She reached out to Sara in the hopes of bolstering the letter writing campaign by adding a Rockland component."
The team approached Principal Furdon, who gave them the green light to move forward with the project. "These five students did all the work," Principal Furdon continues. "They reached out to our elementary schools to get them involved, talking to the younger students about the important work our soldiers do and how lonely the holidays can be for them." The students ended up collecting over 700 letters and pictures, which were forwarded to units overseas in time for the holiday.
It is often our young people who bring out the best in us, and as these students have shown, the best can sometimes be the simplest of gestures. We salute the students of the Yellow Ribbon Club, as well as all those students throughout the Pearl River School District who took the time to write a note to a soldier to let them know they are not forgotten.
Coverage of the 'Every Soldier Matters' program was featured in The Patch last week. You can link to the article and view the video presentation by the Yellow Ribbon Club to the board of education here.
About the Community Cares Blog and the Rockland Community Foundation
The Community Cares Blog, hosted by the Rockland Community Foundation, celebrates the spirit of giving in our community. Each week, we will post a story of philanthropy or shine a spotlight on an activity that is making a difference in the lives of our neighbors. We invite Rockland non-profits, individuals and businesses to contribute to the Community Cares blog by sending an email to email@example.com.
As the umbrella charitable organization for the county, the Rockland Community Foundation is working to connect donors with the causes they care about most. Our grants support a wide range of interests and, with the support of Rockland residents and businesses, we are committed a path of growth that will enable us to help the non-profit community continue their vital work. You can learn more by visiting us at rocklandgives.org.