EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 8, 2013

Lawrence High students send care packages to soldiers

LAWRENCE — Students in the Business, Management and Finance High School at Lawrence High are sending smiles to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Members of the BMF Community Club collected everything from writing pads, pens, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream, shavers, movies, magazines, candy, pretzels, soap and soup. Each box included a letter from members of the ROTC program and student’s photographs.

This is the second year physical education teacher Julia O’Donnell organized the project. Last year, students sent seven boxes to soldiers fighting overseas. O’Donnell said their goal was to send four, but students, teachers and staff members collected enough items for 10 boxes.

O’Donnell sees the project as a mission and learning experience.

”When you involve kids who are used to getting everything handed to them, when they see the whole picture they can’t believe they don’t have basic stuff. It creates a conversation and hopefully will open their eyes to be more sympathetic,” she said.

Club members raised money by selling chocolate and lollipops, raffling off a giant teddy bear and bringing their own toiletry donations.

”Lawrence is the poorest city in New England and these are the most giving students I’ve ever known,” said JROTC Major Kathleen Romano. “When it comes to giving, we never have to ask twice because there is an outpouring of donations.”

Students said this is the least they can do.

”We’re doing this to show them we respect them and appreciate the hard work they are doing in protecting our country,” Henry Cabrera said. “Hopefully it will help keep their spirits up.”

In addition to Cabrera, a senior, other members of the Business, Management and Finance Community Club are juniors Alba Diaz and Jasmine Taveras; and sophomores Cindya Martinez, Annakarina Aguila, Tommy Tran, Kevin Aparicio and LizAndy Martinez.

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