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Van Buren Elementary School fifth-graders create organization to thank military

From left, Hailey Sweeney, Cameron Fletcher and Madison Olney display some of the items they have already collected to send to U.S. military troops to thank them for their service.

From left, Hailey Sweeney, Cameron Fletcher and Madison Olney display some of the items they have already collected to send to U.S. military troops to thank them for their service.

A homework assignment became the catalyst for three Van Buren Elementary School fifth-graders to form an organization to honor members of the U.S. military.

Cameron Fletcher, Madison Olney and Hailey Sweeney are students of teacher Sarah Parrish. Their homework one night was to read an article about using websites for fundraising and answer questions on what they read. One of the questions asked students what organization they would create a website for, and Cameron wrote about how he would like to do something to thank members of the U.S. military serving all around the world.

With his technical skills, Cameron knew he could easily make a website. Madison and Hailey liked his idea and jumped on board to help create an organization they named Caring for Military Heroes. Their goal is to collect hygiene items, games, snacks and DVDs for members of the military. Their mission is also a personal one since each has or has had a family member serving in the military.

Within a matter of days Cameron, Madison and Hailey created a plan of action for the organization and presented it to Principal Michelle Crisafulli to ask for her help in publicizing their mission. Crisafulli was impressed with their commitment and enthusiasm and with their detailed plan. “They are simply outstanding kids,” she said. She invited them to present their idea to the whole school at that day’s school-wide meeting.

That was roughly three weeks ago, and they have already received donations at school. Through their website, caringformilitaryheroes.weebly.com , they have been accepting monetary donations to purchase items and to pay for shipping them to a U.S. military base in Afghanistan. The students’ goal is to receive enough items to eventually ship boxes to several U.S. bases around the world.

Cameron says that over the summer they will continue to collect items in their neighborhoods, and they hope to introduce Ray Middle School to their mission next school year when they will be sixth-graders.

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