Program benefits troops

Soldiers stationed in Afghanistan are asking for some of the comforts and conveniences of home, and Northern Kentucky University students are answering their calls.

NKU’s Leadership Mentors have been asking for, and receiving, many goods that the troops want and need. Ranging from necessities such as basic medical supplies, to reading materials, like books and magazines, their We Love Our Troops program has even requested Little Debbies snacks and individually wrapped hard candy.

“No donation is too small,” said senior photography major Bettina Adams, who has been with the Leadership Mentors’ facilitation director. However, she added that they don’t want chocolate or other soft perishables.

The program began when Adams’ uncle, who is currently stationed in Afghanistan, asked for a few little comforts to make his home away from home feel more like, well, home.

“He’s not one to easily ask for help,” Adams said. “It took a lot for him to be able to say that.”

From there, the idea blossomed into a campaign; not of troops, but for them.

The Coalition Air Force Transition Team, to be exact.

“It’s not even for him, it’s for the troops,” Adams said.

“There’s 300 troops in his group alone, and there’s multiple bases throughout Afghanistan, but it’s just them as of right now,” Adams said.

Already, the Kenton County Library has given many magazines to the effort, but, Adams regrets, there will always be a need.

“I would love to see an outpour of emotion and support for the program,” Adams said.

Still, the positive impact of the donations has left its mark on the troops and their benefactors, with the troops sending letters expressing thanks and excitement for the gifts.

“We love our troops, and they love NKU,” Adams said.

Student Life has a packet of information, including a list of requested items, for anyone wanting to help. All of the items can be dropped off at the office of Student Life, and if an item is too big, just e-mail Adams or Stacey Fiersich.

There will be another thank you to all who’ve helped. A party for everyone that donated items will be held on Nov. 4 at St. Joe’s in Cold Spring, Ky.

“We’re still in the works on that,” Adams said, but more details will be released at a later date.

The program, sponsored by the Leadership Mentors, began Oct. 2 and will continue through Nov. 3.