Roosevelt students make care packages for deployed soldiers

Fifth graders from Roosevelt Elementary School performed their concert behind the care packages the school's leadership team collected for Army National Guard soldiers deployed in the Middle East. (Photo courtesy of Amy Beaudoin / Roosevelt Elementary)

Santa's elves at Dickinson's Roosevelt Elementary School know just what to give soldiers, and it's not what they'd give civilians.

The Christmas care packages that the school's leadership team packed were full of donations from the school's students, teachers and families that included items such as cough drops, socks, hand wipes, mouthwash and ChapStick.

The idea of the service project came from fifth grade teacher Donna Abrahamson, who's son-in-law was deployed to the Middle East. School counselor Whitney Hofer proposed the project to the student leadership team.

"They were very excited and very interested and started volunteering their classes to bring different things," Hofer said. "It started from her, but they really got excited about it and definitely seemed to want to do it, all of our representatives from each class. It was a pretty unanimous vote; they all wanted to help the soldiers."

To determine what to put in the care packages, Abrahamson spoke to her son-in-law about what soldiers need and want and created a list. Each member of the student leadership team volunteered for their class to collect an item.


Avery Reindel, one of two fifth grade representatives on the team, had her class donate ChapStick.

“I don’t know how many we got from the class, but we got, I think, almost three boxes full,” she said.

The other fifth grade representative, Braedon Kipela, created a flyer to send home to parents with the list of items each class was to donate.

The student leadership team on Nov. 15 packed 30 boxes to send, which the school will ship out on or around Dec. 2.

Hofer said the school leadership team tries to complete a service project every month, and they generated a list of ideas during their first meeting in October.

"They actually generated a really nice list of things they want to do from January to May. We have so many ideas, we wouldn’t be able to do them all," she said.

The school leadership team is comprised of 11 students — one student from each classroom.


Kayla Henson is a former Dickinson Press reporter.
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