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Shipping smiles

Students send care packages to soldiers

Boy carrying Priority Mail boxes
Students from St. Stephens Lutheran School in Hickory, NC, pack Priority Mail boxes for North Carolina National Guard soldiers who are deployed overseas. Image: U.S. Department of Defense

Middle school students in Hickory, NC, recently prepared almost 500 care packages for North Carolina National Guard soldiers who have been deployed across the world.

The students, who are seventh-graders and eighth-graders at St. Stephens Lutheran School, packed the boxes, which contained $250,000 worth of snacks, toiletries and other items, including notes of appreciation.

The packages were shipped through Priority Mail.

“It was a cool opportunity to help soldiers and put a smile on their faces,” said Hannah Mingus, a seventh-grader.

Army Reserve Command Sgt. Maj. Dean Cline Sr., a local businessman who helped organize the project, said it was an educational experience for the students.

“I wanted to get them involved and to [let them] know that the National Guard leaves home and deploys and we have to take care of them and their families,” Cline said.

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