Lake Ridge fourth-grader Isabella Terrazas is familiar with the feeling of having a parent serving overseas. That is one reason a smile crossed her face when she talked about the service project that she and her fourth-grade classmates completed just before winter break.
The fourth-graders at Lake Ridge put together care packages filled with comfort snacks and thank you cards for United States troops that were away from their families during the holiday season.
“It felt nice to do it for other people and to see everyone coming together for people like my dad,” Terrazas said. “I liked the feeling that it gave me to know that I was caring for other people and trying to make them feel good.”
This was the third year that the students participated in gathering items and writing letters to send to the troops. The project started in 2017, when fourth-grade teacher Brandy Williams’ husband was serving in Afghanistan and away from his family during the holidays.
“Our family has been through several deployments and care packages mean so much to soldiers that are far from home, away from their families,” Williams said. “It is a way for us to send a small piece of home to soldiers who are deployed and it also helps students understand that our freedoms are because of the service and sacrifice of our military.”
The packages were shipped to soldiers all over the world, including to Air Force members in Yokota, Japan. In return, the students received several photos of smiling soldiers holding their packages and reading their cards.
“Words cannot express how grateful we are,” SFC Brain Reaber said. “The wonderful teachers and their students went above and beyond to make sure the Soldiers of the 382nd Military Police Detachment felt a little closer to home while we are deployed during the holiday season.”
Lake Ridge fourth-grade teacher Angie Smith said that students get excited when they know the time is coming to start putting together the care packages. And she said it’s a tradition that they hope to continue.
“This has become one of our favorite service projects that we do all year,” Smith said. “It was a simple, but meaningful gesture.”