With nimble hands and puzzle-solving skills at the ready, about a dozen members of Boulder City High School’s Interact Club packed boxes filled with snacks, toiletries and other items for U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan.
They came to help the nonprofit Support Our Troops effort, which send 30 care packages to service members each month.
“I came by today because they needed help,” said senior Chandler Harkins, a two-year member of the school’s Interact Club.
Harkins said the boxes contained items such as cans of fruit and meat, ramen noodles, baby wipes, razors, hand sanitizer, deodorant, sunscreen, candy, snacks and socks.
He selected an item out of each of the big bins that lined two walls of the packing area. Then, they were carefully placed in the box like a jigsaw puzzle so that everything fit and wouldn’t shift much on the journey overseas.
If available, a small sewing kit is included with each package.
“The soldiers use these to sew new stripes on,” said Stanna Musick, who spearheads Support Our Troops.
After the boxes were packed, Musick shared with the students some of the situations and living conditions the troops fighting in Afghanistan must endure. For some, the package is the only way they get new supplies and treats, she said.
Mojdeh Kaboli, who advises the club along with Barbara Agostini, the school’s registrar and cheer coach, said she arranged for the students to help with packing the boxes because she knew they would be good at it.
“There are about 12 core members who are very active and involved (with Interact) who are very spatial and conscientious. They are not afraid of a challenge,” Kaboli said.
The experience also provided them with the opportunity to help others, one of the club’s primary objectives.
Musick said she was amazed at how quickly the high school students were able to pack boxes. They were able to accomplish the feat in about 30 minutes, about three times as fast and she and a few volunteers can do.
Boulder City High’s Interact Club is sponsored by the Sunrise Rotary Club, particularly member Alan Bowman, who helps Musick take the boxes to the post office and prepare them for shipping.
Musick said it takes her about one hour at the post office to get the boxes weighed and ready to go, including applying all the shipping labels, which she already spent about four hours filling out at home.
Musick has been shipping boxes overseas for the past 4½ years.
She estimates it costs her about $1,200 for each shipment, not counting the time to gather the materials or assemble the boxes.
Funds for Support Our Troops come from donations received in special containers throughout town as well as individual donations.