Holiday Collection Drive for Soldiers Far Exceeds Expectations
October 26, 2004
The Mount Union College Support Staff Advisory Council faced a monumental task on Tuesday, October 26 -- packaging and shipping a mountain of donations for the soldiers in Iraq, collected through their Holiday Collection Drive. It was a task they were all too happy to take on.
Diane Thomas, secretary to the vice president of public affairs and marketing, (in front) and (from left to right in back) Joan Cockrill, secretary to the vice president of business affairs, and Jan Behner, secretary to vice president for student affairs and dean of students, pack up the boxes for the long trip to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Support Staff Advisory Council (SSAC) asked the campus community for donations to send to soldiers currently stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, including Mount Union alumnus Curran Chidester who is a captain for an Army battalion in Iraq comprised of approximately 100 soldiers.
The response was immediate. Donations poured in and began to stack up. When everything was packaged on Tuesday, there were 28 boxes full of donations.
Joan Cockrill, secretary to the vice president of business affairs, had kept in contact with Chidester after his graduation in 1999 and the College Office of Business Affairs had been sending boxes to him on a regular basis after he was stationed in Iraq.
'When I worked in the (College) Office of Admission, Curran was a student, and he was a really nice kid and involved in ROTC,' said Cockrill. 'He stopped in occasionally after graduation, and last year he told us that he would be going to Iraq sometime in the spring.'
Chidester would share the boxes he received from the Office of Business Affairs with those in his battalion. When Cockrill suggested the SSAC collect items for the soldiers, the idea was greeted with much enthusiasm. Others on campus who knew soldiers stationed overseas also submitted their names and information, and the boxes will be shipped to not only Chidester and his battalion, but several others with ties to Mount Union employees.
'The response we received from across campus was overwhelming,' said Cockrill. 'We also asked for cash donations to cover the shipping costs. With the money we received we were able to not only buy a few more items to send over, but cover the cost of shipping, which will be immense. The SSAC certainly appreciates the generosity that was shown for these soldiers.'
Cockrill estimates it will cost approximately $10 - $15 per box for shipping.
'When Curran told me he would be going to Iraq, of course, I was concerned,' said Cockrill. 'But he said, 'this is what I have trained to do.' I know he has enjoyed receiving items we have sent over in the past, and he typically shares everything we send with his battalion. I am sure they will be pleased to receive this shipment!'