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Nov. 26, 2012

CSU chapter of AMA organizes donation drive for overseas soldiers

By Matt Stafford

ten have to deal with harrowing conditions many people only see in the movies or on television.

Soldiers overseas deal with extreme circumstances that include bloody firefights, roadside bombs and extreme weather that includes everything from scorching desert heat to raging storms on the high seas.

They have to deal with the stress of combat and living with the fact that an ordinary day can turn horrific in a span of mere seconds. Many have seen people who they have become close friends with die or become horrifically maimed. They deal with the reality that this might be the outcome for them as well. Despite this, they go and perform their duties wherever they are called, knowing that there is often a very strong chance that they may not come back.

We have Veterans Day to honor our self-sacrificing soldiers, and we have people and groups back home who want to make life for our overseas veterans a bit more bearable by sending care packages. One of these groups is the Cleveland State Chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA).

Throughout the week of Veterans Day, Nov. 12-16, AMA Vice President Kristen DeSantis led a donation drive for the troops. They accepted various goods including hygiene supplies and long-lasting foods such as beef jerky or dried fruit.

They had a table set up on the second floor innerlink in the Student Center. There, people were encouraged to give whatever they could, even if it was just something they could grab at Outtakes or some change to help cover shipping costs. People who donated were entered into a raffle to win various prizes. The goods were shipped by the United Services Organization (USO) of Northern Ohio.

Veterans, for their part, are always appreciative of events like this. Many find care packages, be they sent by the USO or individuals, to be the highlight of their day. Student-veterans at Cleveland State spoke very highly of them.

“It was definitely great when a shipment of care packages arrived,” said Kevin Gallagher, a soldier who served on the USS Kitty Hawk. “You’re very limited in what items you can get when you’re deployed. You begin to miss everything you took for granted.”
Nicole Smith, a soldier in the 7th Chemical Division, said that the care packages were great for morale.

Beyond the fundraiser, people can continue donating money to the USO. There are also varying organizations like Operation Shoebox. People can donate items similar to what was requested at AMA’s event.