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Students collect gifts, letters for overseas servicemen

Posted: November 19, 2010 3:06 p.m.
Updated: November 19, 2010 4:00 p.m.

Students of Santa Clarita Christian School turn in items for Operation Gratitude to encourage armed service personnel overseas this Christmas.

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Who is on your list of thank you cards? Mom, Dad, your co-worker, pastor or friend? What about a soldier?

This year, there are many serving overseas during the holidays, and it is hard to imagine that words alone could express our gratitude for their sacrifice and commitment to our country, its freedom and our safety.

Yet, one way to show them how much they are appreciated and missed is Operation Gratitude. This is an organization that places care packages in the hands of overseas servicemen and women.

When members of Santa Clarita Christian School's California Scholarship Federation (CSF) met to discuss their first semester community service project, the list of ideas was long. Under the leadership of CSF President Brianna Lillenberg, the group chose to collect for Operation Gratitude for our Hometown Heroes.

The group started collecting items such as food, small personal products, entertainment items such as playing cards and DVDs, and handwritten personal letters of thanks from the students and families at Santa Clarita Christian School. For days, the students brought hundreds of gifts and personal letters of thanks for soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen.

This week, they took the many boxes of donations to Operation Gratitude in Van Nuys to be distributed to those serving in war zones far away from home.

"It was amazing to see our school families reach out and give so much in just three days," said Lillenberg.

On campus, the response has been enthusiastic, as many of the school's graduates and family members have served and are currently deployed.

"We are so proud of our armed forces and are thankful for our county's freedom that was and is being fought for daily," said CSF Advisor John Fox. "We continue to pray for the men and women who donate their lives to the safety and well-being of others and are so glad that we could do a small part to give back to them."

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