Thursday, 26 December 2013 00:00
Glen Cove area students recently wrapped packages to be sent to active military personnel, a wonderful learning experience for these young people.
Anna Dunlop, young adult librarian at the Glen Cove Public Library and coordinator of the Any Soldier Program, has been involved in the program since December 2006. Library patrons have been sending letters and packages to the soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This project is based on a program called Any Soldier, Inc., started on Aug. 26, 2003, as a simple family effort to help the soldiers in one family unit. It now includes any member of any of the Armed Forces in harm’s way, and has 21,186 service members with 565 military contacts. On Feb. 14, 2008, the Any Soldier project reached a milestone. Through the efforts of 35,000 volunteer contacts and countless supporters worldwide, donations have been given to more than one million troops.
In the library, there is a box for donations that can include DVDs, CDs, computer games, sporting equipment, small games, snack food, holiday decorations, personal hygiene items, paperback books, crossword puzzles, socks, hats, etc. and especially letters. If you include your email address, you might hear from one of the soldiers.
So far, they have received contributions from people coming into the library, the local schools, and the senior center. Monetary donations from the Friends of the Library, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Glen Cove Fire Department, Boy Scout Troop 6, and individual patrons have been very generous with helping to cover the cost of mailing.
The Nassau County American Legion has started a matching dollar program with the Young Simmons American Legion Post in Glen Cove for the Any Soldier Program. The county will donate $200 and the Young Simmons Post will match it with a $200 donation of their own.
One of the most rewarding things those involved have seen is the enthusiasm and generosity of the young adults, who have volunteered to organize and mail the packages. An average of 15 students have come on Saturday mornings to help with this project.
These letters and packages go into the hands of soldiers who don’t get much or any mail first. Everything is shared. For more information, you may go to www.anysoldier.com. Call Anna Dunlop at 516-676-2130 for a the list of suggested items to donate.
—Submitted by Angelo Grande Commander Nassau County American Legion