Cabot students connect with soldiers for the holidays

By Emily Van Zandt Originally Published December 2, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated November 30, 2012 at 11:37 a.m.
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PHOTO BY: Curt Youngblood

Christina Wewer, left, and Megan Siever write cards to members of the military who are deployed overseas. The girls, who are in the Cabot High School Key Club, are working on the card project with the club.

— Cabot High School senior Michael York knows what it means to miss a parent in the military.

A few years ago, his father, Joey, was deployed as a member of the Air Force Reserve. Though it was over the summer, Michael realized how hard it must be on deployed soldiers to be away from their families at the holidays.

“We really hope that the soldiers know that while this time of year is hard on them, this is all for a reason, and people really care and appreciate what they’re

doing,” York said.

To make sure deployed soldiers hear the thanks of York and fellow students loud and clear, York came up with a plan. As treasurer of the high school’s Key Club, York suggested that the club organize an effort to send Christmas cards to Cabot-area deployed soldiers. Members of the club, a high school version of Kiwanis International, decided to take up the task as their next project.

Using photos taken by student Jamie Freeman during this year’s air show, York and the club

designed and printed dozens of cards.

“We have 30 signed right now, but we have more than 60 printed,” York said.

If members can gather enough names, they’d like to send 100 cards out. Though they at first were taking just Cabot-connected names submitted to them and gathered from the Little Rock Air Force Base, now they’ve expanded their efforts to any deployed soldier in the central-Arkansas area whose name is submitted to the club. Key Club members have been taking time during their lunch periods to write messages on the cards, and on Thursday, the first batch of cards was ready to go.

Melissa Bulice, high school biology teacher and Key Club sponsor, said students in the Key Club were quick to volunteer for the project. Many Cabot students have ties to the military, especially the Air Force, thanks to the proximity of the Air Force base. The cards also fall into the overall theme of the Key Club’s this year: M.A.S.H. — Making All Service Happen.

“The students have really been helpful, posting on Facebook and sending text messages encouraging students to come sign the cards,” Bulice said.

The Christmas card project is one of many the students have participated in over the years, along with helping with landscaping at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, collecting money for UNICEF, working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and more.

Though it’s only the first year for the card project, Bulice hopes to see students continue the tradition next year, maybe sending gift boxes along with the cards.

York hopes all the cards will be mailed out in the next few weeks. Anyone who would like to submit a soldier’s name for a card can email York at yorkm1@cps.k12.ar.us.

Staff writer Emily Van Zandt can be reached at (501) 399-3688 or evanzandt@arkansasonline.com.

Staff Writer Emily Van Zandt can be reached at 501-399-3688 or emily@syncweekly.com.

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