South Bend Since January, students at St. Anthony de Padua Catholic School have been collecting cards and other items for America’s troops. Wednesday morning, members from Operation Quiet Comfort came out to pick up a “mountain” full of those donations.
For those who may not know, Operation Quiet Comfort is a group of people who work together to honor and comfort America’s men and women, who have become sick or injured while serving in our military.
They also comfort the families of those who have been serving.
Every month they send care packages to injured military personnel and their medical staff overseas. The group is a nationwide organization, operating out of Plymouth, Indiana.
The school decided to collect and make these items as part of a service project after seeing a story about Operation Quiet Comfort on WNDU last November.
“We occasionally do service projects but this is a new one,” says 8th grade student council member Emilia James. “We found out about this and wanted to get involved right away".
As we mentioned, the school started collecting these items in January, but thanks to all of the snow days they really only collected for one to two weeks.
Two of those days’ students could dress down if they brought in a donation but other than that they gave because they wanted to.
“One thing that it think is just really sweet and touches my heart is all of the students that made cards. It wasn't just, ‘thanks for serving us’; they really put personalized touches on there”, explains James. “I know one of my friends really, was really sentimental about it and I just love seeing that. I love seeing people who really care and they really try to make someone’s day just by a card. I think making someone smile who may not get to smile all the time it just, it just warms my heart”.
All of the items were picked up Wednesday and will be shipped to the troops by the end of March. Operation Quiet Comfort Board Member Jan Houin says this is the largest collection they have had.
“Normally, we have people just give monetary donations because nationwide it’s easier than them shipping to us and then we go out and purchase. But, once in a while we get a local group like this that say they want to do a collection so we give them a list. I can tell just by looking over this they have followed instructions,” says Houin.
It costs about $1,000 to ship all donations monthly because they ship dozens of boxes each month.
“I tell people, it’s my full time job with no pay but great rewards and I always tell people I don’t ask anyone to support the war, I don’t know if it’s right or wrong, but I ask everyone to support our troops because we wouldn't be this country if we didn’t have our military men and women,” continues Houin.
Operation Quiet Comfort volunteers do not get paid for what they do and rely strictly on donations.
If you want to donate please visit their website.
Operation Quiet Comfort also has a fundraiser coming up April 3rd. It is called, “Celebrate and Support Our Troops”. It is a pork dinner in Plymouth with a silent auction and live auction. All of the money is going to the troops because everything for the event is donated.