Committee members kicked off the 11th annual “Operation: CAN DO” campaign earlier this month when they sent letters to area schools and businesses requesting goods or monetary donations. The students will use the items to create care packages to send to servicemen and servicewomen with ties to the Hazleton area who will be stationed abroad for the holidays.
Items will be collected through October 23 at the CAN DO office on the second floor of the Renaissance Center, 1 South Church Street, in Hazleton from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All items will be transported to the Freeland American Legion Post 473 where they will be packaged in November for shipping overseas.
“While our troops are stationed overseas, many of the comforts of home are not readily available. ‘Operation: CAN DO’ is the student committee’s way to both thank the dedicated men and women of the armed forces and help make their time abroad as comfortable as possible,” said CAN DO Director of Administration and Student Action Committee co-advisor Nancy Stasko.
Businesses 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.
Members of this year’s Student Action Committee are Morgan O’Hara, Monica Abdelmalek, Natalie Alcantara, Lauren Pataki and Jerry Gasser, Hazleton Area High School; Dominic Yannuzzi, Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences; Anthony Kimsal and Pemely Guzman, Immanuel Christian School; Dominic Mussoline and Jenna O’Donnell, Marian High School; Brendan Drusda, Kayla Leonard and Joshua Narrow, MMI Preparatory School; and Trent Dempsey and Samantha DeSpirito, Weatherly Area High School.
In addition to Stasko, Charles Burkhardt also serves as an advisor to the committee.
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.