Local students serving on a CAN DO committee are again spearheading a collection of items for servicemen and women serving overseas who have ties to Greater Hazleton for the upcoming holiday season.
The CAN DO Student Action Committee is conducing its fifth annual “Operation: CAN DO” drive to send care packages to the troops who have to spend the holidays away from their families and friends. Items are being collected now.
Last year’s “Operation: CAN DO” collection for the troops was the biggest success yet and the students are hoping to increase the number of items this year to support even more soldiers who find themselves around the globe to serve our country. Students are also hoping to be able to secure the names of more servicemen and women with ties to the area this year so the project can reach more people.
The event is being coordinated by CAN DO Student Action Committee members Katie Laputka of MMI Preparatory School and Kelley Major of Hazleton Area High School, serve as co-chairs for this year’s event.
“Through ‘Operation: CAN DO,’ we have the opportunity to thank our troops for all they are doing to protect our freedom. Sending them care packages from home will remind them that their families and friends are thinking of them and appreciate their service,” Laputka said.
Donations from business and individuals are being accepted through Oct. 30 and will be used to purchase items for the care packages. Donations may be made from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at CAN DO’s Renaissance Building in downtown Hazleton, 1 S. Church St. (the corner of Broad and Church streets), on the second floor.
Care packages will be assembled at the end of October and shipped in time to arrive for the holidays.
Business or individuals who would like to make monetary donations are asked to make checks payable to “Operation: CAN DO.” Donations may be sent to “Operation: CAN DO,” c/o Nancy Stasko, 1 S. Church St., Suite 200, Hazleton, PA 18201.
Those who have a loved one who will be stationed overseas during the holidays are encouraged to submit his or her name and overseas delivery information to the address listed above.
The drive is being conducted with the help of American Legion Home Association Post 473 in Freeland.
The CAN DO Student Action Committee is involved throughout the year in helping to coordinate several community events, including the annual CAN DO Community Christmas celebration. The committee is made up of local high school students who are appointed to serve as non-voting members of the CAN DO Board of Directors.
Members of this year’s Student Action Committee are Jocelyn Hinkle, Stephen Senick, Bryttani Craigle, and Kelley Major from Hazleton Area High School; Susan Funk and Nicole Caccese from Weatherly Area High School; Nicholas Triano and Katie Laputka from MMI Preparatory School; and Jonathan Hall and Kathryn Knowlden from Immanuel Christian School.
Nancy Stasko and Charles Burkhardt serve as Student Action Committee advisors.