Members of the Freeland Builders Club, under the direction of teacher Nathan DeBalko, led the drive for Operation: CAN DO, a project of the CAN DO Student Action Committee to collect food, entertainment and hygiene items for servicemen and women.
On Friday, the students took a break from classes to pack up the items they have collected for the men and women who are serving our country overseas.
Boxes full of snacks, coffee, powdered drink mixes, baby wipes, lip balm, toothbrushes, personal-sized toothpaste, magazines, playing cards, puzzle books and other items were packed in cars at the school and taken to the CAN DO offices in downtown Hazleton.
“We would like to thank the students at Freeland Elementary/Middle School and other schools who help gather items for the brave men and women protecting freedom across the globe. Operation: CAN DO has reached hundreds of military personnel over the past 10 years thanks to the work local students have done,” CAN DO Chairman Lew Dryfoos said.
Students at Drums Elementary/Middle School, Hazleton Area High School, MMI Preparatory School, Immanuel Christian School and Weatherly Area High School have also been collecting donations for “Operation: CAN DO” for the past month.
Those items will be added to donations from area businesses and individuals to create care packages that will be sent to troops stationed overseas who have personal ties to Greater Hazleton. All items will be delivered to the American Legion Home Post Association 473 in Freeland. The items will then be placed into care packages and mailed to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.
The CAN DO Student Action Committee is involved throughout the year in helping to coordinate several community events such as the annual CAN DO Community Christmas celebration. The committee consists of area high school students who are appointed to serve as non-voting representatives to the CAN DO Board of Directors. CAN DO Director of Administration Nancy Stasko and CAN DO board member Charles Burkhardt, a retired Freeland Elementary/Middle School teacher, serve as advisers to the committee.