Of the countless charities and causes he could’ve chosen to benefit with his senior project, Seth Willis want most of all to donate to U.S. soldiers.
“I have a family history in the military, and I wanted to have a way to show my support,” said Willis.
Colusa High School seniors are required to complete a Senior Project that is a student-selected exploration of a topic that results in a research paper, a project or product, and a presentation. As a result, the students will have learned and experienced their topics, their community and most importantly about themselves.
When Willis began his project, he ran into some difficulties – finding the right avenue to collect the needed items to complete his goal.
“I was hoping to send ten care packages, but it was hard finding people to contribute and participate,” said Willis.
Word got out about Willis’ difficulties and a few members of the community stepped up to provide guidance.
“Cindy Campbell mentioned about Seth’s difficulties and I knew there had to be a way we could help him out,” said Lloyd Green Jr, publisher of the Williams Pioneer Review, “I have been in contact with several veteran organizations in the past and knew of some great contacts and events that could help him out.”
Green got in contact with Willis and passed along information and about Virginia Read.
“This year Virginia Read was hosting a book that focused on the Vietnam War, and it seemed to be a great opportunity for Seth to spread the word on his project and cause,” said Green.
Willis contacted the Virginia Read committee and hosted a booth during the event fundraising and collecting items to compile his care packages.
“It was a great turnout,” said Willis, “I raised over $400 which helped me reach my goal ten care packages.”
Willis also contacted the Blue Star Mom’s organization where they helped him facilitate the delivery of his care packages.
“I want to thank everyone for their support,” said Willis, “I was able to meet my goal and send ten care packages.”
Realtors Cindy Campbell and Vicky Willoh of All Star Realty contributed an additional three care packages equivelent of items, and issued a challenge to other real estate agencies.
“I would like to issue a challenge to other Colusa County Real Estate Agencies to contribute one care package to the cause,” said Campbell.
Local Real Estate Agents or Agencies wishing to participate in the challenge can drop off their packages at the Williams Pioneer Review office, located at 1004 Market Street, Suite B in Colusa by Wednesday, May 13, 2015 and the packages will be transferred to Willis.
Suggested items for a Care Package:
Food and drink
- Powdered drink mix. Your service member will appreciate anything that can be mixed with water. In cold months, send hot beverage mixes such as cocoa, instant coffee, tea bags, and creamer. During warmer months, sweetened drink mixes such as lemonade and iced tea will be welcome.
- Meal enhancers. Anything that can be mixed with MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), such as ramen noodles, seasoned salt, individual packets of hot sauce, mustard, relish, and ketchup.
- Quick protein. Energy bars, tuna fish, sardines, non-perishable beef jerky, or beef summer sausage. Make sure the meat is labeled USDA Beef.
- Snacks. Look for small, hard containers of chips, pretzels, and nuts. These are easier to carry than large containers. Avoid bags, which may burst under high pressure. If you do send large bags or containers, include small zipper-lock bags so your service member can pack smaller amounts of snacks to carry. Snack cakes, cheese crackers, and cookies are in high demand. Salty snacks are good for those deployed in the desert, especially in the summer months, because they will encourage your service member to drink more water.
- Candy and gum. Avoid chocolate if your service member is in a warm climate. It will melt in the heat. Gum and other types of candy may soften and become gooey, so send these in plastic zipper-lock bags. Send plenty of extras for your service member to share, especially if he or she comes into contact with children.
Personal care and clothing
Choose small, travel-size containers of personal care products, and avoid aerosol cans. To keep liquids from spilling, cover the opening of the container with plastic wrap, then recap before shipping.
- Toiletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, cotton swabs, shaving lotion, disposable razors, shampoo, individually packaged tissues.
- Personal care. Individually packaged baby wipes, eye drops, lip balm, lotion, aspirin or other pain reliever, feminine hygiene products for women.
- Foot care. Moleskin, medicated foot powder, athlete’s-foot ointment.2 l What to Send Someone Who is Deployed
- Disposable hand warmers. Send these during the winter if your service member is in a cold climate.
- Goggle-style sunglasses. Your service member will appreciate these if he or she is deployed in the desert.
- Cotton socks and underwear. Make sure the garments are made of 100 percent cotton rather than a cotton blend.
- Fingerless gloves, stocking caps, long underwear, if the climate is cold.
Entertainment and communication
- Reading material. Paperback books, current magazines, comic books.
- Word games and puzzles. Crossword puzzles, word searches, jigsaw puzzles.
- Games. Foam footballs and basketballs, Frisbees, Hacky Sacks, playing cards, yo-yos.
- Electronics. Portable DVD player, CD player, DVDs, CDs, handheld electronic games.
- Batteries. Size AA and D batteries are in high demand. If you’re sending a battery-operated device, such as a CD player, remove the batteries so the appliance doesn’t accidentally turn on during shipment.
- Disposable camera.
- Writing material. Notepaper, envelopes, pens, pencils, and stamps.
- Phone cards. Shop around to get the best deal on overseas minutes.