Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

October 20, 2009

AmeriCorps to support soldiers

Donations being sought for those who serve

ASHLAND — AmeriCorps volunteers are hoping their work this weekend will make a difference.

Saturday is Make a Difference Day, an annual effort sponsored by USA Weekend magazine to encourage groups and individuals at the local level to volunteer their time to help others and improve their communities.

Organizer and AmeriCorps/MSUCorps member Carie Kizziar said their project is called Operation SOS (Support our Soldiers). On Sunday, AmeriCorps members in the area — 30 who are tutoring students in the FIVCO area — will be at the Riverhill Wal-Mart from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. accepting donations for care packages to be sent to U.S. military personnel. Kizziar said even though their project will be on Sunday, it is part of the Make a Difference Day; their site had already been booked on Saturday by another group.

Kizziar said they are hoping to collect enough donations to make 10 or 20 care packages. Items sought for the packages include individual bags of snacks such as crackers, cookies and chips; personal hygiene items for men and women; powdered drink mixes, magazines, puzzle books, phone cards, DVDs and CDs. She said a more detailed list will be available at the Wal-Mart on Sunday.

She said the group she’s with asks its members to participate in or plan such an event.

“It is the view of the corps and its members that national service is essential to the community we serve and our country,” she said. “Our goal is to inspire others to be a part of this national day of helping others.”

Some of the members of the group have friends and relatives who have served in the military and that contact inspired the care-package program.

Even the students of the tutors may participate, Kizziar said.

“Some of the tutors are asking their students to help packing the boxes and we are going to have students make cards to send with the packages,” she said.

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