Imagine being a young U.S. soldier, waking up Christmas morning in war-torn Iraq. The hot sun, wind-blown sand and perilous nature of military duty in a combat zone is a far cry from being with loved ones and New England’s snowy mountains.
For dozens of soldiers, though, Christmas will be a little merrier, thanks to Plymouth State University’s Student Senate and dozens of campus and community volunteers. Nearly 70 boxes filled with desperately needed items are heading to Iraq this week after the Student Senate purchased, packaged and shipped thousands of dollars worth of care packages in an effort known as “Mistletoe over Baghdad.”
Spearheaded by members Peter Laufenberg and Jeremy Foskitt, the Student Senate voted Dec. 4 to spend $5000 on items like toiletries, underwear, non-perishable food and magazines. PSU students then purchased and packaged the items, preparing them to be shipped to Iraq before Christmas. Recipients will include former PSU students and other active-duty military personnel from New Hampshire.
“Peter and I both wanted to do something personal for our troops,” said USNH trustee Jeremy Foskitt. “We really wanted to organize care packages to bring some holiday spirit to our servicemen and women. It’s the right thing to do and it’s the perfect way for us to recognize them for all that they are doing for us.”
Peter Laufenberg, Student Body President, is confident most people support the troops and want to provide them something they really need. “Jeremy and I felt that we should do something, and that we were in the position to do so,” Laufenberg said. “It may be a small effort, but every little bit counts. It’s the holiday season — why not do something nice?”
Although the care packages have been purchased and prepared for shipping, the Student Senate is still working to raise additional funds to help offset the unanticipated high cost of mailing them to Iraq. Any tax-deductible donation would be appreciated. Donations can be sent or dropped off at the Student Senate office or in the Student Activities Office.
For more information, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., 603-535-2775 or email@example.com