Despite the challenges in our communities during the coronavirus pandemic, one school district near Show Low is on a mission to send help and hope overseas.
Lily Anderson, a fifth-grade teacher at Mary Reilly Seven Mile School in the Whiteriver Unified School District, says they're trying to send 100 care packages to military members this holiday season.
Last year, the school sent over two dozen care packages, but with the help of some home school groups, the national Be Strong Campaign, and their student council, they're looking to send out many more.
"This care package project is a great opportunity for our students (and families) to connect with something outside themselves," Anderson wrote. "They get a chance to learn about other places. They also get the opportunity to help people they may not know."
She also says the care packages are a labor of love, and are something personal for her and her family.
"I have three boys in the military -- one son by blood, and two that I call my sons by love," Anderson said, noting she also has a nephew who serves. "I've kind of gotten into the military world with them."
Anderson says their biggest cost hurdle is going to be the coverage of shipping, at an estimated $1,700. They're hoping to pack the boxes in early November and have then shipped the first week of December.
The boxes will be filled with non-perishable food and snack items (in packets), candies, black over-the-calf socks, batteries, toilet paper, feminine hygiene supplies, and more.
They're also hoping to ship some of the care packages to Native soldiers -- something they hoped to do last year, but weren't able to do due to a lack of connections.
If you'd like to help, you can check out their GoFundMe fundraiser account or purchase items on their Amazon wishlist. To personally contact Anderson regarding donations, email her at email@example.com.