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Upper School Students Give Back to Returning Marines through Operation Help a Hero

22 May 2013 admin 2,139 views No Comment Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

IMG_2673By Olivia Santora, Grade 12

Last Friday, roughly 30 Upper School students took part in a service project at Camp Pendleton put together by Operation Help a Hero and the leaders of this club at St. Margaret’s, junior Julianna Coleman and senior Olivia Santora. Operation Help a Hero is a non-profit organization that supports local Marines. This particular project involved cleaning the barracks for returning single Marines.

The St. Margaret’s students did an excellent job in helping to prepare rooms for 103 Marines/Sailors who are returning from Afghanistan and the Marine Expeditionary Unit. Prior to this service project, St. Margaret’s held a school-wide toiletry drive where the club collected an abundant amount of toiletry items that the students were able to use in the project. Preparing the rooms involved making beds, putting bags of goodies together, among bringing towel sets, shirts and food and drink items. These are just some small ways that the St. Margaret’s community can give back to the local Marines who have sacrificed so much for us. Many of these single Marines come back to no family and Operation Help a Hero wants to recognize them and show that we appreciate them and what they do. Cindy Farnum, the founder and director of Operation Help a Hero, shared an inspirational story with the students that gave them the motivation to work in the barracks, as well as with the organization in the future:

When the Marines are arriving back at the base of Camp Pendleton, all the families are happily waiting for the family members to arrive. When the Marines come in and are still marching they wait until they get the okay to go and greet their loved ones. Once they do, the scene is almost chaotic as everyone is in this giant cluster reuniting with their families. For those who are watching from the outside you can see the single Marines who have no family to greet them, push through the reunion and go straight to their rooms. When they go back to the barracks, they are in for a nice surprise when their beds are made and they have some items so they do not have to go to the store right away.

This is a small token of appreciation towards these Marines, who are close in age to the Upper School students, in giving them something special. The OHH club at St. Margaret’s wants to continue doing barracks projects with the Upper School students in the future because it is a very humbling and inspiring experience. This was a very successful project that the St. Margaret’s community took part in whether it was donating toiletry items or going to the barracks in Camp Pendleton and preparing their rooms.


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