For most of us the holiday season is a time spent surrounded by family and friends, enjoying each others company. However, many of our nation’s veterans are going to spend their holidays in the hospital this year. This unfortunate set of circumstances gave Kellianne Mitchell, a senior at Troy Buchanan High School, the idea to give back this season to those whom have given so much for their country.
Kellianne started the Adopt a Veteran for the Holidays Mission as a way to provide Holiday Get Well Wishes Care packages. Members of the community are invited to put together a Care Package containing five items that can easily be stored in a veteran’s hospital or rehab room. Items suggested for the care packages by the special services coordinator at the VA hospital include: a deck of cards; a toothbrush; word search puzzles; books; note cards or holiday cards for a veteran to send to loved ones; jigsaw puzzles; Sudoku puzzles; socks; crossword puzzles; handkerchiefs; mouthwash; travel size hand lotion, toothpaste, deodorant, or shampoo; chapstick; and hard candy. Those who would like to participate in the program should feel free to place the items in a gift bag or wrap them in holiday paper. The gift bags may then be dropped off at one of four collection spots; Troy Buchanan High School, Lincoln Elementary, Claude Brown Elementary, and Sydenstricker John Deere in Moscow Mills where Kellianne currently works part time. The care packages will then be delivered to the Veterans Hospital in Columbia, Mo. The deadline for care packages to be delivered to local drop off spots is Nov. 22.
Kellianne, who is very active in the Troy FFA has competed on three FFA teams securing National Placement and currently is serving as the Troy FFA Chapter’s Secretary, came up with Adopt a Veteran for the Holidays as a way to honor her own family members who are veterans. Kellianne’s great grandfather, grandfathers, dad and Godfather are all veterans of either WWII, Vietnam, or Desert Storm and she thought this would be a great way to show servicemen and women our appreciation during the holidays when they might not get to see their families because of their rehabilitation or injuries they are recovering from. Kelliane had set a goal of over 40 care packages when she began Adopt a Veteran for the Holidays and currently she has received 30 packages.
Kellianne plans to attend the University of Missouri Columbia after graduation and plans on majoring in Ag Journalism. For now though she is busy finishing up her senior year, actively participating in FFA, volunteering her time, and when there is time for it Kelliane loves barrel racing or spending time with family hunting and fishing. For more information or a complete list of items please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.