Article was written by Amanda Stover, Marketing and Communications Intern.
What started as an unspecified summer intern project turned into a passion that I will carry throughout my life. The concept to “pay it forward” has been instilled in me since I was very young. When I was given the opportunity to create and manage a summer project, I knew I wanted to base it around this notion.
Operation Connect is a program that collected items for care packages to send to military troops. The main goal of this project was to boost the morale and welfare of those fighting for our freedom by connecting them to their community through care packages. We collected snacks, personal care items, and entertainment materials. The hope was not just to provide items to the soldiers but to brighten their day.
Operation Connect was set up at the Tipton City Park on August 9th, California C & R on August 10th, and Versailles Chamber of Commerce on August 11th to collect items. In addition, coloring pages and letter templates were available to complete. Each item donated earned a ticket for a chance to win a laptop, speaker, or tablet provided by Co-Mo Connect. Operation Connect collected over 600 items for care packages to send to approximately 30 different soldiers.
“Receiving care packages in the mail was always like Christmas," stated a veteran who visited the Operation Connect table. "It always felt like the senders knew exactly what I wanted and needed."
While we were receiving items for Operation Connect, many individuals who donated shared stories about their experiences serving our country or told us about their family members who have served or are currently serving. Each of these conversations was heartwarming and highlighted how important caring for our troops is. Those heroes are members of our communities, friends, and family.