Local kids gathered in the young adult section of the Glen Cove Public Library on Saturday morning, September 11, to package and send items to soldiers in association with anysoldier.com.
Participants packaged donated items in boxes and filled out customs forms, reporting what each box contained, to be mailed to an officer in charge of a group of soldiers overseas. The items accepted ranged from snack foods to CDs, DVDs, games and more.
Anna Dunlop, the young adult librarian at the GCPL, also had the kids write letters to the soldiers.
"The kids pack the things up; I have them write letters to the soldiers to thank them. I tell them to write what they do and a little about themselves and why they are here," she said.
Dunlop was inspired to bring the anysoldier.com ideology to the community after a soldier close to her family died overseas.
Sisters Justine, 15 and Viola Sawyer, 16, participated with the intent to provide goods the soldiers need while away from home.
"Sending stuff to soldiers seemed like it would be really great—to make them feel like they're doing a good thing and they have our support in keeping us safe, protecting our country," Justine said.
"Over there they might not have everything they need or want and it's good to give them comfort because over there they might not have it," Viola added.
Brothers Brandon, 14 and Anthony Mariana, 13, volunteered their time out of respect for the soldiers selfless acts.
"They're doing a lot for us and we have to kind of tell them that we appreciate it," Brandon said.
"We're giving back to them because they're giving so much to us," Anthony added.
This past Saturday isn't the first time library patrons have convened to donate to soldiers; certificates of appreciation sent from military officials are displayed throughout the library.
Saturday, November 20 and Saturday December 11 are the Tentative shipping dates for the next batch of donations.
Aside from the young volunteers, community members have been supportive and have donated significantly, including monetary donations from the VFW and the firehouse, said Dunlop.
The program allows kids to show gratitude for the selfless services soldiers perform by performing a selfless service themselves, Dunlop said.
"I think it shows them that they have a lot to be thankful for and brings them together, and that they realize that they can help other people," Dunlop said. "I feel it's a good way to make people aware that we're still over there, so let's help the people that are helping us."