Students at Pocahontas County High School took their Christmas spirit to the next level with a recent community service project for active military members who live in or are from the county.
The Purple Star Club and Civics class put together care packages filled with donated items and special greetings for military members who are currently deployed, as well as those who are at home.
Purple Star coordinator Anita Workman explained that the students carefully packed 72 boxes which were distributed in Pocahontas County and mailed all over the world.
“We have people in Korea, Japan, England, Syria, Afghanistan,” Workman said. “We have a kid that graduated from here that’s on a naval ship. Boxes will be hand-delivered to those that are home.”
It was a huge group effort with Community In Schools coordinator Lois Wilfong purchasing paracord for the students to make bracelets, Stephen Simmons helping the students make more than 200 paracord bracelets and Cheryl Jonese collecting donations from local businesses.
Other handmade items included ceramic West Virginia ornaments made by Tracy Walker, Christmas cards from Hillsboro Elementary School students and hand-written notes from PCHS students.
“These civics kids really stepped up in the last couple of weeks and they chose a person and they created that box personally,” Workman said. “Some of them created three boxes. That was part of their giving. We’ve had a good time with it.”
Last year, Hillsboro Elementary School and HES Purple Star coordinator Becky Spencer did the care packages; soon after, Pocahontas County Schools became members of the Purple Star Award program.
The Purple Star Award program provides a support system for the children and siblings of active military members.
Businesses and individuals that contributed to the care packages were: Community Connections, Inc., Pendleton Community Bank, First Citizens, The Pocahontas Times, State Farm Insurance, Snowshoe Mountain Resort, Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Allegheny Mountain Radio, Tracy Walker, Green Bank Observatory, PCHS varsity football, Tammy Workman, Dollar General, Judy Fencecraft, Hillsboro Library, Pocahontas IGA, Mitchell Chevrolet, S&D Diner, Jake and Allyson Taylor, American Legion Allegheny Post 117and Pocahontas County students.