We celebrated Veterans Day this week, but how are we actually celebrating and honoring our troops? Northwestern’s Human Relations class, taught by Prof. Jolynn Oliver, has challenged and encouraged two NW students to tangibly honor our servicemen. Junior Amy Kallemeyn and senior Jenna Noble didn’t know what was in store for them and when they began a class project.
Kallemeyn and Noble teamed up for a Human Relations project called “Teacher as Servant” and used Kallemeyn’s idea of connecting with troops overseas.
“I googled ‘support our troops’ and found the website adoptaplatoon.com. After applying and interviewing, we now support a platoon that consists of ten, one female and nine males,” said Kallemeyn.
Noble and Kallemeyn meet with a group on Wednesday nights to write letters and construct care packages. They attempt to send two packages each month to their adopted platoon in Iraq. This group also writes letters and sends packages to missionaries who were recommended by those on campus who have loved ones serving in the mission field.
Noble didn’t expect the response that has come from this class project. She said, “It has really been an amazing experience to see how the campus and community has responded to what we are doing.”
Kallemeyn and her roommate, Nessa Summers, collected items for care packages by trick-or-treating in the dorms on Halloween. Soldiers appreciate toiletry items such as face wipes and food items such as sunflower seed and beef jerky. Although it takes a lot to complete a package, Kallemeyn and Noble are doing all they can to fill them with the necessities.
“My friend overseas expressed to me that some soldiers don’t receive packages from home,” said Kallemeyn. “That broke my heart, and now I want to help out in any way possible.”
An activity that started out as a small class project turned into something life-changing. Both Kallemeyn and Noble have been sincerely touched by this experience and would like to thank the campus for the support as well.
“It started out being a simple project to fulfill the three-hour class requirement, but it has turned into a much bigger part of our lives. Writing to these soldiers and missionaries once a week and keeping them in our thoughts and prayers has become part of our routine,” said Noble. “Being able to stand side by side with other students to serve and fellowship has been amazing. We are so thankful for those that are serving us; this is just one small way in which we can return the favor.”
If you would like to get involved with this project, there are boxes in every dorm for loose change and other donations, or contact Kallemeyn and Noble.