Saturday, December 14, 2013

Middle school sends holiday spirit to deployed Airmen

by Staff Sgt. Amber R. Kelly-Herard
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

12/13/2013 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- For the eighth year in a row, Highland Middle School, with the Air Mobility Command Directorate of Financial Management Booster Club, brought holiday joy to 30 deployed service members.

Since 2006, every deployed Financial Management Airmen in AMC has received a handcrafted box with food, games, toiletries and a personal letter from the HMS students and staff.

"This started when one of my students had a mother who worked at Scott Air Force Base," said Dawn Hubbard, HMS troop drive coordinator and teacher. "It has been a wonderful service project for the kids to show their support and give back and we coordinate it with our Veterans Day assembly."

The students are very involved in the process. Some of them even include small presents to accompany their letters in hopes their service member writes them back. In the past, deployed members have sent pictures, flown flags and written 'thank you' notes for the packages.

"People in Afghanistan won't have Christmas with their family, so I spent extra money I had on them," said 12-year-old Seth.

In addition to donations from the school, this year's contributions included locally made summer sausage and special requests from service members such as coffee. The booster club normally pays postage costs, but this year an anonymous donor paid the nearly $450 postage bill.

After the school completed its collection drive, booster club members Col. George Coggins, AMC/FM director, and Tech. Sgt. Sandra Schmidt, AMC/FM warplanner, personally went to HMS to collect the donations and thank the students for their efforts and contributions.

"The students and staff contribute every year to make this happen," said Denise Schau, AMC/FM project coordinator for the packages and Non-appropriated Funds financial analyst. "This is what Christmas is all about."

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