Committee members kicked off this year’s campaign earlier this month when they sent letters to area schools and businesses requesting goods or monetary donations. The students, in cooperation with American Legion Home Association Post 473 in Freeland, will use the items to create care packages to send to servicemen and servicewomen with ties to Greater Hazleton who will be stationed abroad for the holidays.
Items will be collected through October 26 at Arc Electric, 123 Warren Street in West Hazleton, or 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.
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 South Church St., Suite 200, Hazleton, PA 18201.
Stasko said, “The Operation: CAN DO drive has produced a record-breaking collection for the past several years thanks in part to the generosity of the Greater Hazleton community. All donations we receive are appreciated not only by the Student Action Committee members, but also by the men and women protecting our freedom so far from home. The Student Action Committee is proud to conduct this drive every year. Operation: CAN DO recently came full circle when we sent a care package to a former Student Action Committee member who is now serving in the military.”
The Student Action 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. Operation: CAN DO is being coordinated by co-chairs Michael Kulish of Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences and Alexandra Rentz of Hazleton Area High School.
Additional committee members are: Stephanie Mazurek and Francine Lamasko of Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences; Mark Abdelmalek, Angelina Joseph and Vincent Damiano of Hazleton Area High School; Christopher Danishefsky and Saraiha Rossi of Immanuel Christian School; Corrin Dagostin, Isabella Schwabe and Grace Mussoline of Marian High School; Jakob Schwabe and Morgan Long of MMI Preparatory School; and Jillian Bartel and Nikki Polivka of Weatherly Area High School.
In addition to Stasko, Charles Burkhardt also serves as an advisor to the committee.
The CAN DO Student Action Committee also coordinates the annual “CAN DO Community Christmas” celebration, which will be held on December 6.