Trini Mendoza, accounting junior and Amy Buxman, accounting junior, watch as Alex Fernandez, elementary education sophomore, gives a cash donation towards Operation Shoebox. Alejandra Rojas/Collegian photographer

By Alejandra Rojas
Staff reporter

Phi Beta Lambda, the business organization on campus, is participating with Operation Shoebox to support troops by gathering care packages to send overseas.

Since 2003, Operation Shoebox has supported U.S. military members from around the world by donating care packages.

As part of a community service project, Amy Buxman, accounting junior, proposed the idea to PBL.

“After a year of coming up with projects, we liked this one, so we just ran with it,” Buxman said.

John Dupuy, business division chair, is one of the sponsors of PBL. He said he is proud of each member of PBL for choosing this project.

“For the first time, the group is doing something meaningful, something they can be proud of and something that the community and Southwestern students can support them,” Dupuy said.

Dupuy, who has served overseas, said he understands the importance of this operation. “I know what it’s like, mail call is the best time of the day and you feel pretty special when you get something,” he said.

Terrence Royals, business marketing junior, has a brother who has been serving in the navy for four years. He said although he doesn’t use Operation Shoebox to send items to his brother, he would consider it in the future.

“I would definitely send things to my brother. I think the benefits of the operation are to give the troops some sort of hope and to help them know they are not alone,” Royals said.

Lashae Bacon, business management freshman, is engaged. Her fiancé is a soldier of the army and has been overseas for nine months. She also said she doesn’t use the organization to mail her fiancé items.

“I send him stuff every two months and the things are just stuff I can easily send over, “There is not a lot we can do to help, so anything we do helps,” she said.

Donations will continue through Feb. 28. There are donation drop boxes located at The Winfield Country Club, Donna’s Design, Deet’s Memorial Library, Apple Market and Country Mart in Arkansas City. In addition, PBL has a table with a donation box during the home basketball games.

Possibly items that can be donated are: travel size toiletries, dental items, canned food with pop tabs, granola bars and socks. Cash donations are also accepted.

Dupuy said there haven’t been any major complications yet, but he said the biggest thing is getting cash donations to help pay for postage.

Buxman said her goal for PBL is to make the troops feel like they’re home with the donations they collect.

“They already sacrifice so much for us, so we can help by bringing them a sense of home,” she said.

Dupuy also said he wants the results from this project to be used as learning tools for future students.

“When we reach a goal, we want the goals we set to feel like we accomplished something and hopefully this project will be a springboard for future projects for next year,” he said.

Alejandra Rojas is a senior majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at alejandra.rojas@sckans.edu.