By: Cheryl D. Fields
Publication: Kellogg Foundation Program Echoes
Published: 12/21/06 Michigan KLCC Fellows Send Holiday Stockings to Troops
This fall, youth and adult fellows from Benton Harbor, Michigan, joined students from nearby Coloma Junior High School to coordinate the Stockings for Soldiers project. The fellows have been collecting donated items from throughout Berrien County, Michigan, wrapping gifts, writing greeting cards, and stitching and stuffing customized stockings to send to soldiers overseas. The seasonal program is providing an opportunity for youth from these two racially distinct communities to come together for a shared cause.
KLCC Fellow Lisa Marie Daniel helped start Stockings for Soldiers at Coloma Junior High in 2003. She and her friend Daniel Daniel, who teaches art at the school, thought it was a great way to reach out to soldiers who were so far from home over the holidays. This year, she invited her KLCC colleagues and others at the Benton Harbor Boys & Girls Club Teen Center to participate. The 2006 effort is especially significant for Daniel because her younger brother, Armando Ozuna, Jr.,19, recently joined the Air Force and is now stationed in Iraq.
“I felt this was a perfect project to bring the kids from Coloma and the kids from Benton Harbor together,’ Daniel says.
Phillip “Donnie” Martin, another KLCC fellow, was inspired to join the project by Daniel’s commitment and because two of his relatives also are serving in Iraq.
Daniel, Martin and fellow Ashley Kyles were featured on a segment of Channel One’s Livewire, a youth-oriented television news service, for their roles in the program.