He may be able to grab a number of magazines and books in the COOP these days, but during Christmas of 2001 Nate Fick (OH) was in the mountains of Afghanistan with little for entertainment.
“I will never forget how good it felt to get care packages,” the former U.S. Marine Capt. said. “Reading materials were what I liked best. You have a lot of time to pass while deployed so a copy of Time magazine or the Economist were worth their weight in gold.”
Fick and several other combat veterans here at Harvard Business School know what it’s like to be removed from the comforts of home. In an attempt to send a sense of normalcy across the Atlantic, The Partners Club, Armed Forces Alumni Association and the Harbus have joined forces to organize Operation Appreciation – a care package supply donation drive happening Oct. 29 through Nov. 9.
During this time supply and monetary donations can be made at the Harbus and in the RC section classrooms. From Nov. 5-Nov. 9 donations can also be dropped off in the Grille at lunchtime. These supplies will be shipped directly to soldiers currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
While deployed to Iraq in 2003, former U.S. Army Capt. Marc Giammatteo (OD) looked forward to the days care packages would arrive from home. He says something as simple as an Oreo logo or a package of sunflower seeds can act as a warm reminder of home.
“You really can’t go into the market in downtown Baghdad and buy anything remotely similar to what is offered in the states,” he said. “Just seeing familiar logos and brands gets you out of the desert and the danger you’re in for a brief moment.”
Operation Appreciation is not pro-war or anti-war and has no political ties. The main objective of this donations drive is to support the men and women who have given up their safety for those of us at home.
“This is about supporting those who have put their lives on the line to serve their country,” Giammatteo said. “Those who have answered a higher calling. Anything we can do to support those who have sacrificed so much in terms of their safety needs to be done.”
Operation Appreciation is asking for a wide variety of donations including food items, entertainment, necessities and cash/check to help buy last minute supplies and cover shipping costs. For those who may not be able to afford buying supplies, donating old magazines, books, DVDs and CDs is also appreciated. Any bit of entertainment is a plus for those in the sandbox.
Marina Peterson (Partner OB) became a professional care package sender when her fiancé Greg Pappas (OB) was deployed to Afghanistan. “He really enjoyed new books by his favorite authors and DVDs,” Peterson said. “His sister and I would burn mixed CDs of new music and send him some of his favorite foods.”
For more information on how to donate speak with your RC AFAA rep or email the Harbus at email@example.com.
Cash or Check:
Any amount will help buy last minute supplies and pay for shipping. Please make checks out to HBS Partners Club
Baby Wipes, Socks, Hard candies, Hand sanitizer, Eye Drops, Sunscreen, Q-Tips, Writing utensils, Paper, envelopes, Female hygiene products, Shaving cream, Disposable razors, Foot powder, Dr. Scholl’s moleskins
Energy gel packs (found @ GNC), Powdered Gatorade
Magazines (men and women)
Movies/DVDs (men and women)
Music/CDs, Video Games, Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, Letters of gratitude
(All Snack Size) Chips, cookies, fruit snacks, granola bars, Campbell’s Soup at Hand, Individual boxes of cereal, Chef Boyardee/Nalleys personal sized Chili, beef stew, mac and cheese, etc., Cup-of Noodles, Sunflower seeds, gum