Students fill boxes for soldiers

Stephanie Backus/FULTON SUN photo: Kathleen Wilson's first grade class at Bartley Elementary filled boxes for soldiers. The boxes are being mailed to reach the soldiers by Christmas.

Stephanie Backus/FULTON SUN photo: Kathleen Wilson's first grade class at Bartley Elementary filled boxes for soldiers. The boxes are being mailed to reach the soldiers by Christmas.

It was an ad in The Fulton Sun that drew Bartley first grade teacher Kathleen Wilson to a project for her classroom — filling boxes for soldiers. Debo Funeral Home provided the boxes, and will pay for the shipping when the boxes are returned and filled for military personnel overseas.

“The more I thought about it, the more I thought that my boys and girls here in first grade could probably do pictures and letters,” Wilson said. “I was hopeful that my families would also participate, so I went down and got 25 boxes and brought them back.”

Then, on Veteran’s Day, Wilson told the kids about soldiers serving overseas and about what it was like to help the soldiers from here in the United States.

“We colored them, and added letters and pictures,” she said. “If I’m not mistaken, these boxes are not going to reach them until Christmas, so they got Christmas cards.”

Many of the students were excited for the project.

“I brought in so much the corners are almost tearing up,” John Michael Teel said. “The boxes are for the soldiers because they are away from home and want stuff that will help keep them happy.”

Wilson herself knows what it is like when you have a member of the military in your family.

“I’m the daughter of a career military person,” she said. “I’m aware of the struggle families go through when their significant other is stationed overseas and away from the family.”

A member of Wilson’s first grade class, Grace Siegler, is also aware of what families experience when a member is stationed overseas. Her father is currently stationed outside of the United States.

“We are hyper-sensitive to her. We are very aware of the fact that it’s very difficult for her,” Wilson said. “It’s painful for her to talk about that her father is away, so I think this class is learning the hardships of family when there’s a family member overseas.”

Siegler said it was sad that her dad was overseas, but she understood why the soldiers wanted the boxes they had filled.

“They are fighting for our country,” she said. “These will help make them happy.”

Wilson said she was very pleased with the outcome of the project.

“I had a lot of families who were very generous in sending in donations,” she said. “They were shared among the boxes.”

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