KEARNEY – A University of Nebraska at Kearney sorority is thanking U.S. military members serving overseas through its annual Sisters for Soldiers project.
For the eighth year, Alpha Omicron Pi is collecting donations to create care packages for service men and women who will spend the holidays away from their families.
“These soldiers have taken so much time out of their lives to give back to everyone else. This is a way for us to give back to them during the holidays so they can feel loved even though they’re so far from home and so far away from their families,” said Jessie Daake, the sorority’s philanthropy chair.
Last year’s Sisters for Soldiers project raised nearly $5,000 and created 392 care packages, which included items such as playing cards, puzzle books, toiletries and snack foods. The sorority’s goal is to send 450 packages this year, spreading even more holiday cheer.
Alpha Omicron Pi members will collect donations this Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, as well as Nov. 4-8, at the Kearney Hy-Vee, 5212 Third Ave., and Family Fresh Market, 3920 Second Ave. Hours are 3-6 p.m. on weekdays and 2-5 p.m. on weekends.
The sorority is asking for the following items:
- Toiletries (individual packages of wet wipes and Chapstick)
- Snack foods (individual packages of sunflower seeds, peanuts, beef jerky, etc.)
- Sudoku and crossword books
- Flavored water mixes (individual packages of Crystal Light, Gatorade, Propel, etc.)
- Individually wrapped candies (Tootsie Rolls, Laffy Taffy, Jolly Ranchers, etc.)
Monetary donations are also needed to purchase additional items and cover shipping costs.
In addition to the business locations, donations can be dropped off at the Alpha Omicron Pi house on campus or brought to the Sisters for Soldiers event. Monetary donations can be made online at https://unk.crowdchange.co/15292.
Campus and community members are invited to join the sorority members 7-9 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Ponderosa Room inside UNK’s Nebraskan Student Union as they prepare the care packages and create holiday cards included in each box. Attendees are required to wear face masks.
Any remaining donations will be used for a project at the Central Nebraska Veterans’ Home in Kearney.
“We’d love to do something for each resident there,” Daake said.