By Patrick Robinson, USAG Vicenza InternDecember 26, 2012
VICENZA, Italy (Dec. 26, 2012) -- For six weeks, Vicenza High School has been led by the Future Business Leaders of America in gathering goodies and treat for troops deployed.
Lori Encke, computer science teacher and sponsor of FBLA, said that all help was completely voluntary. Future Business students, Spanish Honor Society, AVID, Italian Honor Society, Project TRUST, and ROTC helped in the making of the snowflakes used to attach holiday notes to the goody bags.
Each goody bag had a mixture of popcorn, granola bars, Rice Krispies, Little Debbie snacks, cookies, hot cocoa, cappuccino mix, holiday candies, and pretzel snacks. Overall, the treat bags were comprised of donated food from students, teachers, and even community members.
According to Encke, in the last few years, participation in the Treats for Troops project has dwindled more and more. When there were enough participants, the troops were given a few cookies in a tiny bag.
The number of volunteers and participants in this year's Treats for Troops project has been substantially higher. The project was also taken to a whole new level; instead of giving troops treats while they were home, VHS has sent them off to the places where the troops are stationed.
"Approximately 150 students and teachers were involved in the creation of the treat bags," Encke said. "We shipped out seven boxes to support 173rd [Airborne Brigade Combat Team] Soldiers deployed to Afghanistan."
In each box, there were more than 100 goody bags with a note stating something uplifting. Based on the response from the chaplains of each battalion, the troops felt very special having treat bags and notes stating Happy Holidays sent to them while they are away from their families and friends.