OIC in Action
 

Providers

Click here for more information on how to support Operation Iraqi Children.


Youth Volunteer Corps
Kansas City, MO

For the past five years, the Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) of Kansas City has spent a week each summer volunteering at the OIC Warehouse. The YVC is a national nonprofit that offers youth, ages 11 - 18, the opportunity to improve their community through volunteering.

This year the volunteers reflected on their time spent at the warehouse, and why supporting OIC truly makes a difference.
Here are volunteer Audrey Nelson's answers:

Why do you think supporting OIC is important?

"OIC helps gather school supplies for kids in other countries that might not have been able to afford them. It also connects solidiers with children.

Why is volunteering important?

"Because you are making a difference. One little gesture can make a big difference in someone's life. Even though we are in Kansas City, we are helping children halfway around the world! It feels good!!"

Do you think there will be a lasting benefit for the recipients of the School Supply Kits?

"Education. A child might not have been able to go to school without the supplies. A good education can supply them with a good job and better future."

Do you think there are benefits for the troops distributing the supplies?

"A connection with the kids, and the satisfaction that they know they made a difference in the children's lives. Another benefit is trust in the community which they delivered them to."


Brothers at War
July 2010

Jake Rademacher, director/producer of Brothers at War, is donating partial proceeds from DVD sales to OIC. After seeing early photage of the film, OIC co-founder Gary Sinise signed on as the executive producer.

The documentary follows Jake Rademacher, the director, as he travels to Iraq to follow two of his brothers — Maj. Isaac Rademacher and Staff Sgt. Joe Rademacher — who were deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division.

The film, a four-year project, is Jake Rademacher’s attempt to understand why his brothers went to war and what they endured while on the front lines. Maj. Rademacher is stationed at Fort Bragg.


Michael Fisher
Chicago, IL

Mike Fisher

Michael Fisher and Fisher Container Corp. have been donating zip lock bags to OIC since the program's inception. Over 110,000 bags have been donated throughout the years, and OIC is extremely grateful to Mr. Fisher and everyone at Fisher Container for their continued support.


Second Grade Class
Lincoln Center Elementary

Lincoln

Mary Niederkorn's Second grade class collected $400 to purchase school supplies. They went together to Target to purchase the supplies and assembled the kits before sending them to the OIC warehouse.


Richie Mahboub
Astoria, NY

Richie rode his bike all the way to Kansas City, camping out along the way, to deliver over $1,600 in donations.


Girl Scout Troops From Sycamore School
Indianapolis, IN

Over 100 Girl Scouts from the Sycamore School collected and donated 110 School Supply Kits to Operation Iraqi Children. There are girls from Kindergarten through seventh grade. The Girl Scouts in their school attended a weekend “Camporee” that included community service (which included packing the school kits), learning, and social activities.


 

Great American Group
Woodland Hills, CA

The Great American Group, of Woodland Hills, CA, collected 215 School Supply Kits in only two short weeks! Their company's culture is one that always encourages their employees to serve others. Participants were given the list of school supply items and were responsible for bringing fully assembled kits on the completion date.


Akron Elementary School
Akron, New York

Arkon Elementary's 700 students participated in a collection for OIC this Fall. Each grade level collected an item from OIC's school supply list and added it to a plastic bag. The bags were then passed from Pre-K students through each grade level, and finally to the Fifth graders who compiled and double-checked each and every school supply kit. A big thank you to the school's PTA for donating money to finish each donated kit!


Pacific Lutheran University and Army ROTC
Tacoma, WA

CDT Kevin Knodell has coordinated another schools supplies collection for OIC! This drive is a joint effort, being conducted by the PLU Diversity Center and Army ROTC. The pictures above are from an information booth on campus.


Sinise Mania: Yahoo Group

A yahoo group of Gary Sinise fans, called Sinise Mania, joined together to raise funds and collect supplies for Operation Iraqi Children. This is the third year that the group has donated to OIC. This group collected 202 School Supply Kits, making this their largest donation yet! Founder of the group, Karen Hamilton, collected the supplies in her garage for months before the donation was sent to the OIC Warehouse in Kansas City.


Plainfield High School - Central Campus
Plainfield, IL

Students from the Interact Club, Key Club and National Honor Society from Plainfield High School - Central Campus shipped 12 boxes containing 120 School Supply Kits to OIC. Students, staff and the community were enthusiastic about supporting our soldiers and children in need.


North Boulevard Church of Christ
Murfreesboro, TN

North Boulevard Church of Christ in Murfreesboro, Tennessee collected 1,435 pairs of shoes in 3 weeks! Members of this church worked tirelessly for weeks, sorting and preparing the shoes for shipment to the OIC Warehouse in Kansas City. Additionally, they were able to find a local shipping company that offered to cover the shipping costs of the shoes to Kansas City.


Gold Wing Touring Association
Washington

The Gold Wing Touring Association created an event held in September 2007 entitled: "2007 Teddy Bear Tour." This group collected a total of 4,135 stuffed animals for Operation Iraqi Children. The pictures below are from the collection day in Renton, Washington:

Members of The Gold Wing Touring Association drove from Washington State to deliver the stuffed animals to the OIC Warehouse in Kansas City, MO! They came in a motorhome donated by ABC MotorHome Rentals, carrying the donated stuffed animals in a trailer donated by Crazy Larry's Motorcycle Accessories. These gentleman are picture below with OIC's Managing Director, Paige Leitnaker.

 


Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)

The Cincinnati Area Chapter of the MOAA are pictured above, preparing School Supply Kits for OIC.

The Dayton Area Chapter of the MOAA are shown above, compiling OIC School Supply Kits!


La Verne First Baptist Church
La Verne, CA

"Women On A Mission" is their group's name, helping others is their game: Pictured above with School Supply Kits is a women’s group of La Verne First Baptist Church in La Verne, California. For six weeks the group collected donations for Operation Iraqi Children. On June 16, 2007 the group met and compiled 36 School Supply Kits!


St. Christopher Parish School
West Covina, CA

Our Story:

Operation Iraqi Children began as a project idea for us. It was a social studies 7th grade project idea. That idea quickly turned into something that encouraged us to help other causes as well. When we had our bake sale for OIC, we were only expecting about $40. Corn nuts, cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and sour candy couldn't possibly give us a lot of money, right? Wrong. We raised about $103.40 from our bake sale. The amount of money we received was overwhelming. We couldn't believe the response. The three of us now have bake sales every now and then for a charity near our home, thanks to the inspiration of OIC.

Mary, Alexis and Bernie


Bobby Gaston


Ten year old Bobby Gaston was moved by a friend's father who had recently returned from Iraq talking about the conditions for Iraqi Children. After his mother agreed to give him money from a family garage sale, Bobby set out to collect new shoes and soccer balls for the children in Iraq. Bobby collected 92 pairs of shoes, 130 pairs of socks, 25 soccer balls, 4 air pumps and enough money to buy 75 soccer balls directly from Wilson!


Metro-Atlanta Student Chapter teams up with Eagle Scout
Atlanta, Georgia

Metro-Atlanta student chapter members collaborated with local a Eagle Scout for an OIC project. The Metro-Atlanta student chapter collects OIC supplies year-round. Chapter President Ashleigh Starr Berglund's brother, Eagle Scout Phillip Berglund, joined forces this year to bring 1098 School Supply Kits to the OIC Warehouse in April 2007. Phillip, member of Troup 242, picked up supplies, and coordinated inventory and kit making, while chapter members spoke to local People to People International Student Ambassador delegations about the project.


Freshwater Church
St. Bonifacius, Minnesota

 

Members of Freshwater Church in St. Bonifacius, Minnesota collected Beanie Babies for the children of Iraq. Brian Back, Children's Pastor, drove the nearly 3,000 Beanie Babies from Minnesota to the OIC Warehouse in Kansas City.


The Fallen Heroes Ride Across America
St. Augustine, Florida

Ed Acevedo is planning a long-distance cycling tour from Saint Augustine, Florida to San Diego, California in an effort to raise awareness and funds for disabled veterans and the families of military members killed in action. His intent is to pay a symbolic tribute to the stamina, endurance and courage needed by our disabled veterans and their loved ones as they face their road to recovery. Acevedo is asking supporters to contribute to organizations that provide assistance to our troops, including Operation Iraqi Children. For more information, visit www.bike4vets.org


Mr. Hinton's Social Studies Class
Las Vegas, Nevada

Students in Jeff Hinton's 9th grade Social Studies class are selling bracelets with the words "Students Helping Students in Iraq" to raise money to purchase supplies for Operation Iraqi Children. They also created a video to raise awareness for their project.


"Tiny Diplomats"
Eugene, Oregon

Jennifer McConochie and Sisy Anderson of Eugene, Oregon recently developed a project designed to provide students in the United States an opportunity to send messages of peace to students in Iraq. They provided the art supplies as well as Arabic translations for words of kindness and friendship. Operation Iraqi Children will send the cards with a future shipment for distribution. Visit their website for more information on the project.


Chad and Cody Plenge, Joe Pecora and Tim Miller
Monroe, Wisconsin

Hello,


My name is Chad Plenge. With a lot of help from three other people, Joe Pecora, Cody Plenge and Tim Miller, we proceeded to collect stuffed animals for OIC. This started out as an idea I had for a few months. When I could actually do it as part of a school project I got a group together and we got things organized quickly. In only about two weeks we started the collection. I was thinking we might get one box full. The first day alone we collected about 50!
The numbers kept on increasing every day for the two week collection period. We could not believe what our total was; almost 1,900 stuffed animals. One school principal said that the students were really excited about this project. They couldn't wait to drop off more stuffed animals.

We also collected letters that the kids wrote to the soldiers. The letters were received by a unit in Afghanistan a few days before Christmas. They were greatly appreciated by the soldiers. The whole group was amazed by the success of this project. This was a great way to support children in other countries and also U.S. soldiers.

Thanks,
Chad Plenge

Click here to read more about their project in an article from The Monroe Times


Pre-K and Kindergarten Classes
Akron, New York


The Pre-K and Kindergarten students at Akron Elementary School brought supplies and enjoyed assembling 25 kits for OIC.


OIC Benefit Concert
Kansas City, Missouri

Thank You...

...to all of our sponsors for helping to make this event possible. Over $30,000 was raised for OIC.

The Villa of Kansas City

The Cloud Foundation, Advent Lutheran Church, Jefferson City High School, School Max LLC

Margaret Tompkins, Virginia Newhall, Kathy Wall, Marie Dufault

Stacy, Brian & Jesse Eisman, Judi Lee, Mike & Becky O'Bea, John & Lisa Hickok, Doug & Lisa Coday

Office Max, McHenry County Pirates, Bob & Petra Allen, Michael H. Stewart, Joe & Mary Yakamavich, Jillian Beck, Elaine Marra, Robert A. Cassella, Phil & Judy Wegman, Keith & Karen Didriksen, Thomas Roth


Dave Bogan & ComedySportz
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Comedian and former Marine Dave Bogan organized his second large-scale OIC supply collection in Milwaukee in September, 2006. Donors contributed nearly 500 School Supply Kits and almost $2,000. Click here to read more from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online.


PTPI LIFE Student Chapter
Dallas, Texas

Through their OIC supply drive, the student members of PTPI's LIFE Chapter collected over 50 School Supply Kits, blankets, shoes and sports equipment. In late July, 2006, the chapter packed the car and headed to Kansas City. After unloading the supplies, they spent a day volunteering in the OIC Warehouse. The chapter plans to organize another OIC collection in the fall.


PTPI Metro Atlanta Student Chapter
Atlanta, Georgia

Chapter member AshLeigh Berglund and her mother Angela, Chapter advisor, coordinated an OIC supply drive in Atlanta that resulted in 360 School Supply Kits. The supplies were donated by People to People Student Ambassador delegates. In early July, they headed to Kansas City with a car entirely full of kits. In order to fit all 360, they had to break down the boxes they were packed in and place them in the car individually.

On July 4, 2006, at their hotel in Kansas City, AshLeigh, Angela and AshLeigh's grandmother put the boxes back together, re-packed the kits and headed to the OIC Warehouse the next day. Even with boxes stacked on the roof of the car, transporting all of the boxes required two trips so AshLeigh and her grandmother remained at the warehouse to prepare their kits for shipment to Iraq while Angela returned to the hotel to reload the car. Their kits filled over an entire pallet and will be sent to Iraq in one of the upcoming shipments.

The group considers it an awesome experience to know that they will have touch 360 students' lives with the school kits collected from the Atlanta area. They are already planning their next collection.


Kevin Knodell
Portland, Oregon

17-year-old Kevin Knodell of Porland, OR has teamed up with several groups in the community to organize an OIC drive. Friends at Bilal Mosque (pictured above) and many others among the Muslim community, including a large number of Iraqi immigrants, are extremely enthusiastic about taking part in the project. Members of St. Luke Lutheran Church and Joey Coon, an Oregon National Guardsman who recently returned from Iraq, are also excited to be involved.

Kevin created a project blog in order to document their progress. Another article on Kevin's project can be read on journalist Michael Yon's Frontline Forum.

In mid-June, Kevin and friends shipped 22 boxes to the OIC Warehouse, containing 90 School Supply Kits, 33 blankets, 12 stuffed animals, 17 tarps and 20 reams of extra paper (courtesy of ICP.)


OIC Collection at Columbia University
New York, New York

Eric Chen, Vice-President of the U.S. Military Veterans of Columbia University, wanted to bring Operation Iraqi Children to campus. He began planning an OIC collection at the end of 2005. MilVets, Columbia's student-veteran organization, with the Hamilton Society, Columbia University College Republicans, Columbia University College Democrats, Students United for America and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy Fellows, agreed to sponsor the project which was carried out during the Spring semester. Posters and collection boxes were put up around campus and the donated supplies were boxed and sent to the OIC Warehouse on May 13, 2006.

Pictured are Columbia students who helped with the project including MilVets President Oscar Escano, a former Army Ranger who served in Operation Enduring Freedom, 2006-2007 MilVets President Luke Stalcup, a former Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal team leader who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and MilVets councilmember Todd Murphy, a former Marine who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

 


People to People International GIFT Student Chapter
Secaucus, New Jersey

The PTPI GIFT Student Chapter celebrated its 3rd annual National & Global Youth Service Day, the largest service event in the world, by supporting the Operation Iraqi Children program with a contribution of 100 School Supply Kits. This is the second OIC project for the GIFT chapter. Last year the group sent over 100 stuffed toys to the Iraqi children.

The chapter invited Corp. Luke Smentkowski and Capt. Hank Padley to speak to about their time in Iraq. Smentkowski served with the Marine Infantry and Padley spent time training the Iraqi police force. Both recalled the smiles on the faces of the Iraqi children who received school supplies from US soldiers and discussed the positive progress they saw while serving.


Joel Johnson
Eagle Scout Project

Joel Johnson collected 50 School Supply Kits and $500 for OIC through his Eagle Scout Project.


Mesa Community College
Mesa, Arizona

The students at Mesa Community College have been outstanding, ongoing supporters of OIC for over a year. Their enthusiasm for the program has spread throughout the community with everyone coming together to provide supplies for the children in Iraq. Recently, Student Body President Jeffrey Linford and several fellow students had the chance to attend a Lt. Dan Band concert at Luke AFB where they presented OIC co-founder Gary Sinise with yet another donation to the program, this one from their most recent fundraiser.


Cub Scout Pack 28
Dunstable Congregational Church, Dunstable Massachusetts

The members of Cub Scout Pack 28, along with their siblings and parents, put together nearly 50 kits, decorated banners and wrote notes to the soldiers and children.


Cub Scout Pack 243
Sewickley, Pennsylvania

On December 6, 2005, Cub Scout Pack 243 assembled 100 School Supply Kits for Operation Iraqi Children as their community service project. We chose to donate to OIC because we believe it is critical to our future as well as the Iraqi children's future to help them be educated and free. Along with sending school kits, the boys (age ranging 1st through 5th grade) wrote letters and drew pictures for the troops who will be distributing the supplies. They also sent a large banner with all of their hand prints traced on it with words of support for the troops. Pack 243 wants our brave soldiers to know we believe in them and wish them a safe return home. The monies used to purchase all of the supplies was very generously donated by Wal-Mart. The project was a huge success and the boys would be thrilled to get a response from the troops!

Debi Duddy, Den Leader, Pack 243


Jack Meyer, Greater Cincinnati MOAA/Messiah Lutheran Church
Cincinnati, Ohio

Jack Meyer, Captain USNR, Ret., of Cincinnati heads up an ongoing OIC project that has collected and sent 1,002 school kits to the OIC Warehouse--and more are on the way. A recent article from the Cincinnati Enquirer higlights Meyer's work:

Kits for Iraqi children are just his latest way to help

By Janet C. Wetzel
Enquirer contributor

SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP - Jack Meyer didn't wait until he retired and had more free time to get involved in volunteering. He's made it a lifestyle since the late 1950s. There's always a need, always something to be done. Meyer, 73, wants to help whether it's serving on the Council on Aging, a volunteer fire department or other nonprofit organization, volunteering at his church, Messiah Lutheran in Greenhills, or donating to worthy causes. He saw no reason to change that when he retired from Procter & Gamble in 1993 as a manager.

His current pet project is preparing school kits to send to Iraqi children. He's headed up the local Operation Iraqi Children since November 2004. Meyer's earned the name "Shameless Jack,'' through avidly soliciting donations of goods and money from church members, friends, strangers and organizations to buy the supplies. He assembles the kits with help from the youth group at his church, headed by Steve Wilson, then ships them out.

Meyer said his work on the project was partly inspired by the dedication and determination of actor Gary Sinise, who co-founded Operation Iraqi Children with Laura Hillenbrand, author of "Seabiscuit." "When I heard about the organization I thought it was wonderful, and I took it to our Military Officers Association of America board,'' said Meyer, who lives with his wife, Dorothy, in Sycamore Township, where he was a volunteer board member and treasurer with the township fire and rescue for many years. "The board said, let's do it. We set a goal of making up 24 kits.''

Soon Meyer, who spoke about the project at a recent national symposium of the military officers' group, had enough supplies for dozens of kits. They contain 10 items, including scissors, pencils and erasers. He turned his ping-pong table into a workbench and put together 125 kits himself. As the project grew, he asked his pastor, Michael Volk, for church help. The church, the military group and Meyer formed a partnership, and by August they had shipped 1,002 kits. Nationally, about 200,000 kits have been shipped.

Volk said Meyer is a natural leader who has headed major church projects, held most church offices and is an usher. "Jack's a man who loves his family, his country and the Lord,'' Volk said. "He's always a willing and eager worker. He's a highly organized man and knows how to get things done.''

Meyer, a member of the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio, said he's enjoyed volunteering all his life. "Ironically, I started out when I was young by helping with unwed mothers," he said. "Later in my life, I'm helping with senior citizens, and children. I'm fortunate to be able to do this.''


 

ComedySportz
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Dave Bogan, a former Marine and a member of the Milwaukee based ComedySportz improv troupe, saw OIC co-founder Gary Sinise discussing the program on TV and decided immediately to get involved. Bogan organized media coverage of the fundraiser and people from all over the city contributed their time and resources to make the event a success. After collecting over $2,000 and nearly 200 kits, Bogan and two fellow comedians made the trip from Milwaukee to Kansas City to deliver the kits by hand to the OIC Warehouse.


Washington State Legislature
Olympia, Washington

The House and Senate responded with overwhelming generosity to the children in Iraq in a drive to provide school supplies in the war-torn country. The drive brought an overwhelming offering of 125 complete school packets, 20 pairs of shoes and numerous extra school supplies in addition to financial donations to cover shipping. The Washington apple boxes help up the lines at the post office as the boxes were carted in, paid for and shipped off to such a worthy project. It was more than 300 pounds of supplies for kids.

Suzette Cooper (LA to Rep. Rodney Tom) and Brenda Glenn (LA to Rep. Dan Kristiansen) led the drive on the House side and Jeri May (LA to Sen. Jerome Delvin) took on collecting items for the Senate.


Shawn Merrill - Eagle Scout Project
Bountiful, Utah

My name is Shawn Merrill, I am 16 years old and I live in Bountiful, Utah. For my Eagle Scout Project, I wanted to do something that would truly benefit someone else. When my mom showed me the OIC website, I knew this was it. With the help of Troop 261 and several others, I distributed over 1,000 flyers and, over the next two weeks, collected enough materials to complete 63 school supply kits. Through the generosity of Mr. Miland Kofford and Overnight Transportation, we were able to ship them to the OIC Warehouse. Keep up the good work OIC. Thanks for providing this great opportunity for me.


 

Jack's Sale
Merriam, Kansas

In early September, 5-year old Jack Gann approached his mother with an idea. He wanted to have a sale and use the proceeds to help those in need. With the help of this parents, Terry and Angeline, Jack put up signs in his neighborhood to advertise the sale. Friends and family donated items to be sold, helped to spread the word and helped to run the sale. Strangers stopped by with trunkloads of donations, many customers paid more than their purchases were worth. Many customers enjoyed lemonade and cookies from Jack's lemonade stand as well.

The sale raised over $2,000 in just two days. Jack made a donation not only to Operation Iraqi Children but to many families now living in Kansas City after Hurricane Katrina.


 

4th Grade OIC Project
Lincoln School

Our fourth grade classroom raised money all year by saving spare change with their families. They also took turns baking Thursday Treats which were bought by teachers and school staff and all this money was added to our funds. We mailed 36 school kits, 29 soccer balls, 6 hand pumps as well as letters and cards to the U.S. soldiers and to the Iraqi children. This project allowed us to see there are simple things that each of us can do to make a difference.
Penny Haggerty


122nd Street School
Los Angeles, California

My name is Michelle Kirchner and I am a teacher at 122nd Street School in South Los Angeles. One of our Units of study in our Reading Program was all about Kindness. As a fundraiser, our 2nd grade students and other students in the school, donated money for Operation Iraqi Children. It was quite amazing to see children who do not have very much of their own, give so much to help others. As their teachers, we were truly blessed by their generosity and love for others.
In all, we were able to assemble 60 kits. The kits were sent off about a month ago, and enclosed were letters to the soldiers thanking them for all that they are doing for our country.
I think this is an incredible organization and I am thankful that I was able to be a part of it.


City-wide OIC Collection
Richfield, Minnesota

"I am so grateful for an organization like OIC. It enabled me to participate in something positive when I was feeling so helpless about this war! I read about OIC in Oprah's O Magazine. When I went to your website and saw how simple you made it I became inspired to do a city-wide collection of supplies. We collected a total of 206 kits. The volunteers also wrote and drew pictures for the soldiers which we put in each box. We felt pleased to be a part of a program that will bring at least a small amount of pleasure to a soldier and at the same time support innocent children that are the next generation of Iraqis. Thank you Gary, Laura and all the other volunteers in Kansas City and around the U.S. for doing such a great service!"

Sincerely,

Darcy Buelow


AMEC Earth & Environmental

AMEC Earth & Environmental Raises Over $27,000 for Operation Iraqi Children

Over $27,000 was raised for Operation Iraqi Children during a recent month-long campaign by the engineering services company AMEC Earth & Environmental.

In U.S. dollars, the total included more than $19,000 in individual contributions from offices across the U.S. and Canada, $5,000 initially contributed by the company, and more than $2,700 in matching company funds from two offices.

AMEC is one of the companies that is helping rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure and facilities. The Operation Iraqi Children appeal had special meaning to AMEC because the company has witnessed first hand the needs of the country – especially the young children – and understands those needs extend beyond bricks and mortar to include the educational and humanitarian concerns of children.

During the drive, many creative and entertaining fundraising events were held among the offices. Some offices challenged each other. A combination pizza lunch/bake sale/50-50 draw was the high-caloric choice of three offices. One office sold an employee recipes cookbook while another sponsored a bowling competition. Another office hosted a dessert tasting and auction of everything from bottles of wine to solar tiki lights in Tempe.

AMEC Earth & Environmental provides environmental, geotechnical, materials-testing, construction management and water resources consulting services to public and private-sector clients worldwide. It is a division of international project management and services company AMEC plc.


Thomas Elementary School
Abilene, Texas

Students at Thomas Elementary spent time learning about Iraq and collected small change over a period of three weeks in order to contribute to Operation Iraqi Children. Thanks to the students' generousity, over 30 school supply kits were donated. The students also made and signed a banner for the Iraqi children and wrote a letter of thanks to the soldiers who will be distributing the kits.


Division 23 Capital District Key Club
Virginia

Several Key Clubs from Division 23 in Virgina came together to collect nearly 200 kits for Operation Iraqi Children. Local Kiwanis Clubs joined the effort as well and Overnite Transportation offered to transport the 20 boxes of supplies to the OIC Warehouse.


Mark's Hope
Springfield, Virginia

Captain Mark Stubenhofer of Springfield, Virgina, was killed in action near Baghdad, Iraq, on December 7, 2004. He was known for his devotion to his children and his committment to his country. Mark also believed in spreading a hope for freedom to children in Iraq and around the world. To honor Mark and to help fulfill his dream, his family started a collection of school supplies and toys for Iraqi children. They sent them to Mark's unit in Iraq in time for his birthday, April 18th, but contributions continued in support of the foundation. Operation Iraqi Children provided shipping assistance for the outstanding collection of supplies and toys.

Above, Mark's mother Sallie Stubenhofer and a friend are pictured next to two pallets awaiting pickup by FedEx for delivery to the OIC Warehouse in Kansas City. Additional supplies were sent by Mark's wife and sister.


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Memphis, Tennessee

With the help of groups in from both Memphis and Rock Island, Illinois, the Memphis District Corps of Engineers collected over 900 backpacks full of school supplies and sent them to Iraq with the help of Operation Iraqi Children.

District employee Oney Pruett, currently in Baghdad, works with several schools in the area and took on the mission to collect backpacks. "It's another way we can show the people of Iraq that we care about them, their children, and their future," said Pruett.

Col. Charles Smithers, commander of the Memphis District, thanked all who were involved and said "This was a great opportunity for us, not just District employees, but volunteers from the Memphis community and others, to show Iraqis we really do care."


Operation Bubble Gum Buddies
Gracemor Elementary, Kansas City, Missouri

After North Kansas City resident Reta Jo Mitchell spoke to students at Gracemor Elementary about volunteerism, the students got together and collected bubble gum in an effort to connect with students in Iraq. They collected enough gum to put together 1,000 packages containing 25 pieces and attached a note to each one. 500 of those packages were donated to OIC and the students were able to present their donation to OIC co-founder Gary Sinise during his February, 2005 visit to the OIC Warehouse.


 

Sepic Orthodontics
Uniontown, Pennsylvania

Drs. Ronald and Christopher Sepic and the staff of their three Pennsylvania area offices collected over 2,000 pounds of candy for children in Iraq through their Halloween candy buy-back program. Children were offered $2 per pound for their Halloween candy and the response to this effort was overwhelming. Many of the Sepics' former patients have gone on to serve in the military and the program was a way to support the military and give children treats at the same time.


Brownie Troop 1065
Albertson, New York

The members of Brownie Troop 1065 put together school kits as part of their celebration of World Thinking Day. They dedicated the day to thinking about Girl Scouts all over the world and finding a way to help others.


Kate Lipman
Rockville, Maryland

Eight-year-old Kate Lipman introduced Operation Iraqi Children to her school and worked on her own to promote the program. She collected enough supplies to put together 28 school kits and sent those, along with several stuffed animals, to the warehouse in Kansas City.


Babylon for Babylon Project
Town of Babylon, New York

Through the combined efforts of city officials, local media, schools, Cub Pack 57 and community residents, a great show of support and a generous contribution was made to Operation Iraqi Children. Cub Pack 57 packed all of the boxes for shipment to the OIC Warehouse.

 


Brownie Troop Wanted to Help
Oak Park, IL

Dear Operation Iraqi Children Leaders,

Our Brownie troop located in Oak Park, Illinois does 2 Service Projects a year. This year we wanted to do one to help others in our hometown and one to help others in the "Broader" Community. One of the Mothers read an article about the Iraqi Children project in Parade Magazine and the next thing we know our "Broader Community" project was to help children thousands of miles away!!

Our troop is made up of second and third graders and they were quite interested and moved by the information and pictures on your website. They gathered supplies, helped sort them, and wrote many, many letters to the children and the troops. The letters were sincere and wonderful and we inluded them in our boxes. We hope to hear back! Anyway, here is a photo of our troop that we took especially to put with our letters....

Keep up the good work!
Sincerely
Brownie Troop #2787, Oak Park, Illinois


2004 American School Spirit Award Finalists

In addition to creating gigantic run-through banners each week with a new, creative theme, the Panther cheerleaders of Franklin High take time out of their busy schedules to make gifts for the athletes they cheer for. Called, agape gifts, which means love and appreciation, these tokens are given to pump the athletes at Franklin up and show the cheerleaders' support for them. ...Click to Continue Story


L'Anse Creuse Public Schools
Macomb, Michigan

My students participated in this program by writing letters to the students, soldiers, and also putting together the school kits... Click to Continue Story


Jacob Hanna might be only eight years old but he has taken on a project that those many years older would find a challenge...Click to Continue Story


Murray Avenue School
Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania

My name is Frank McKee, and I'm the principal of the Murray Avenue School in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania. In September one of our teachers, Leslie Needleman, came to me and asked how I felt about collecting supplies for Iraqi school children and shipping them to her friend who is stationed in Iraq, so that he and his unit could distribute them in the nearby Iraqi school. Needless to say, I thought it a wonderful opportunity for us to come together as a school community to educationally benefit those children whom we were in the process of liberating.

When we found their needs and put the word out into our community through our students and parents, we were overwhelmed by their generosity and kindness. We gathered more than sixty boxes of supplies, but to our disappointment, it seemed there was no easy way to get them to their destination. We reached out only to find estimates ranging into the thousands of dollars for shipping. That's when Mrs. Lisa Class became involved. She has worked tirelessly to get our supplies to Iraq. Despite a number of obstacles that were thrown up, she continued to inquire and investigate.

That's when she came to you, and you and your organization became the solution to our problem. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your humanitarian efforts on behalf of the children of Iraq, and for bringing our efforts to fruition. We believe, as you do, that education is the hope of the future for all of us. Maybe through the supplies that we have collected and you have shipped, the dream of education will be realized at least for those Iraqi children in one school.

Best wishes and many thanks

Frank McKee


Grundschule Ramsthal
Northern Bavaria, Germany

Students from a small elementary school in Germany learned an important lesson about tolerance and the joy of helping those in need when they started a project to collect supplies and make school kits to send to Iraq. The students also included letters and drawings in each kit.


Westwood Elementary
Friendswood, Texas

Students at Westwood Elementary, with the support of Maxim Financial, contributed 82 school kits to Operation Iraqi Children.


Ramsey Jammal
San Jose, California

16 year old Ramsey Jammal became aware of the need for supplies in Iraq and decided to do all he could to help. With the help of his mother Nancy, Ramsey started a collection in the Bay Area and had tremendous results. In just two months, the barrels they set up at their Church were overflowing. Ramsey is now planning a collection for sports equipment.


Franklin Middle School
Pocatello, Idaho

A school fundraiser resulted in $1,180 for the purchase of school kits through Operation Iraqi Children. The students at Franklin Middle School hope to direct these kits to a former school resource officer who is now stationed in Iraq. They can't wait to hear news of how their contribution is received by the students who receive the kits.


James Madison Elementary
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Student Council members at James Madison Elementary led a collection of supplies for Operation Iraqi Children and the school sent 16 boxes filled with kits to the OIC warehouse. "It makes us feel good," said one of the students when asked about helping those in need.


Peace Cloths
From Ireland to Washington State to Iraq

This project was inspired by a man from County Wicklow in Ireland who does a great deal of international peace work. He came to the U.S. in October to visit the Brice Family and to spread his message throughout schools in Washington. During this visit, he planned an event involving the creation of peace cloths made with the handprints of those involved as a gesture of peace for the people of Iraq. The idea spread and more peace cloths were made, by friends and family of the Brice family and by other schools and groups in Washington. OIC will include the cloths in one of our shipments to Iraq and the cloths, with their messages of peace, will be able to reach the children they were meant for.