President Bush thanking the
troops for their service in defense
of freedom during a visit to Bagram
Air Base in Afghanistan.
Girl Scouts from the Greater Houston Area
(Museum Oaks Service Unit) are shown above. Since the inception of
the Gifts for Troops
program, the Girl Scouts have solicited and
delivered more than 200 cases of Girl Scout Cookies (with 12 boxes of
cookies per case).
During 2008 alone, more than 100 cases of Girl Scout Cookies
were distributed in the "Gifts for Troops" boxes.
---------- CURRENT UPDATE
It's been a while since I updated our group on our efforts in the Gifts for
Troops program. During 2008, we continued to receive wonderful support from
West Point parents and alumni, as well as donations from our community. We
shipped approximately 170 boxes, supporting approximately 25 deployed soldiers,
many of whom are young officers who have gladly shared our boxes with the men
and women in their units.
To highlight just some of the support we've received:
Thanks to the efforts of our Girl Scout friends in Troop 5282
(Sylvia Swain '11 Mom) and the Museum Oaks Service Unit, we received in excess
of 100 cases of Girl Scout cookies to ship, as well as donations of other items
to include in our boxes. Always a huge hit with the troops, these cookies are a
great reminder of home.
The Parents' Club brought donations to the April meeting and
packed 25 boxes for shipment that day.
In May, the alumni parents and West Point Society members brought
donations and packed another 75 boxes.
We continued to ship boxes in smaller numbers throughout the
summer. During the cooler weather this fall, we shipped approximately 30 large
boxes containing 2-3 cases each of chocolate Girl Scout cookies, together with
other cold weather goodies.
In early fall of '08 we were again contacted by our friends of the
Institute of Real Estate Management ("IREM") chapter in Houston who wanted to
work with us again in doing holiday boxes. As you may remember, they were able
to mail 100 flat rate boxes to soldiers last year. This year they doubled their
efforts and mailed 200 boxes. Our involvement was to help them refine their
list of requested donations and to assist them again in identifying deployed
units to receive their support, doing the proper paperwork for mailing of the
boxes and some very modest help in packing. IREM solicited all the items and
postage donations, and asked that we identify Texas-based units to receive their
boxes. We were able to help them support 3 units from Ft. Hood: a Field
Artillery unit, an MP unit and an Armor unit, all commanded by recent West Point
grads. Some of the testimonials refer to the boxes received as a result of
Michelle Johnson (mom of Garrett '10) put her third and fourth
grade art students to work making several hundred holiday cards for our boxes.
They were wonderful and were so warmly received by our soldiers, especially
those who were so far away from their own children during the holidays.
As of this update, all the items received in 2008 have been shipped to deployed
troops. If any of you have connections with schools, churches or community
organizations that would like to do a donation drive, we certainly have plenty
of soldiers who could use a little touch of home. Feel free to call me if you
have any interest in pursuing such a project.
We already know of continued community support headed our way, and we are very
grateful for it. We have been approached again by the Girl Scouts of the Museum
Oaks Service Unit indicating their interest in making cookie donations again
this year; and I have received an email from IREM indicating that they are on
board to do holiday boxes again at the end of the year.
I hope that you will all feel as I do that this is a very worthy project for our
Parents' Club. I have come to understand that the things we send are not as
important as the fact that we send them. For those so far away, our efforts
truly mean a lot. In the two years since the inception of our program, the
names on the mailing labels have become all too familiar. They are our
neighbors and friends. They are kids (now young adults) from our neighborhood
that we have watched grow up. They are West Point roommates, companymates,
teammates and friends. More and more, they are our very own sons and
daughters. On behalf of them and all their soldiers, thank you for all your
support of this program.
Click here to read the
"Gifts for Troops" testimonials
December 14, 2007
Houston West Point
Parents Club and West Point Society Members,
We have now completed mailing our Club's holiday boxes to the
troops. Your support, coupled with the donation of in excess of 500 pounds of
candy and other donations from our friends affiliated with the Girl Scouts of
the Museum Oaks Service Unit, has ensured that we again have been able to send
wonderful boxes to our deployed troops. As you can see from the updated totals,
over the last 12 months we have shipped 173 boxes weighing approximately 2,400
pounds. While these numbers are a very objective means of measuring our Club's
support, I thought you might enjoy some additional and more personal
Over the course of the year, we have supported approximately 35
individual soldiers. Some have been West Pointers from Houston, WPPCGH sons and
daughters, familiar names to some of us. Some have been their friends from USMA
days, company mates now deployed. Many others have not been. They have been
soccer buddies, boyfriends, a co-worker's son, the nephew of someone from
church, the brother of someone you met in a long line at the post office. Some
of them serve with our grads, compassionate commanding officers who send names
home of those who could use a box from someone. Some are older reservists.
Some are barely out of high school. They have been soldiers, sailors, airmen
and marines. Some have been deployed for only a few weeks. Others are now
spending their second Christmas away from home.
As we look forward to 2008, there will be more boxes to send. The
names on the labels will look more familiar as 2006 and 2007 grads deploy and
older grads head back for second or third deployments. I know that your support
of the Gifts for Troops program will continue as we attempt to continue to meet
I am never sure if any of these soldiers can use another granola
bar or another packet of hot chocolate, but that is not really the issue. I am
sure from the response we receive from them that the mere act of such tangible
support from us means the world to those serving in a dangerous world so far
from family and friends.
On behalf of all those you have supported this year, many thanks
for being such a wonderful group.
West Point Parents Club of
November 30, 2007
West Point Parents Club and West
Point Society Members,
We have continued to send boxes to our deployed soldiers. As you
can see from the updated totals, we have been able to send in excess of 1,700
pounds of goodies over the last year. We will continue to update those totals
as we step up our mailing again throughout the holiday season, so be sure to
check our website again.
I wanted to specifically update you all on the results of the
collaboration of our club with the local chapter of The Institute of Real Estate
Management, an association of real estate management professionals commonly
referred to as IREM. Their Community Service Committee wanted to solicit
donations for deployed troops but wanted to work with a group that had some
experience in packing and mailing on a regular basis. They sought our advice on
their efforts as well as our assistance in actually packing and mailing the
boxes and identifying recipients of these boxes. IREM completed their donation
and postage drive on Veterans' Day, and some of our alumni parents have worked
with them over the last 10 days to pack and prepare the boxes for mailing and
actually attend to mailing the boxes. Through IREM's efforts, 100 flat rate
boxes have been mailed to units in Iraq. The boxes, totaling in excess of 650
pounds, should be delivered in time for the holidays. It also appears that the
excess items not used in this mailing may provide us an opportunity to again
send support to a Family Readiness Group at Fort Hood.
While the IREM mailing is not reflected in our Club's total
number of boxes sent (125) I'm sure that we can all take satisfaction in knowing
that this large mailing will have a wonderful impact on the holidays for our
soldiers. The minimal time requirement from us paid truly significant
dividends. If you happen to know someone who is a member of IREM, please be
sure to thank them for their tremendous effort on this project.
West Point Parents Club of
Gifts for Troops Links