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As soldiers in Afghanistan continue to put their lives on the line on behalf of the United States, citizens continue to enjoy freedoms often taken for granted, and soldiers are forgotten.

But students in the Pell City community are working to change that.

Students in the Pell City Interact Club will be collecting donations through the end of November for their Soldier Shoebox Project, a community service project that allows the community to pitch in and send items from home that may be difficult to come by.

“We just want to let soldiers know they are not forgotten even though they are in isolated areas,” Margo Curran, the Interact Club sponsor said.  “I am a veteran who was part of Desert Storm.  It means so much to soldiers to get care packages from home.”

During the summer, club officers gathered to brainstorm and plan community service and fundraising projects for the academic year.

“The idea came about because we knew the VA Home would be opening this fall,” Curran said.

As donations come students will put shoeboxes together filled with food and toiletry items.

“We will also be putting thank you notes in every box to show that we are behind them and supporting, just to let them know how much we appreciate them,” Curran said.

The Interact Club is working to make this project a community-wide effort.

“We have drop off boxes set up at: PCHS, Duran North, Williams Intermediate, Coosa Valley Elementary, Iola, Winn Dixie, Metro Bank, Snap Fitness, and The Kitchen (Hwy 34).  I am encouraging our great community family to lend a helping hand.”

Members of the club will be checking donation boxes weekly in an effort to fill as many shoeboxes as they can.  Shoeboxes will be sealed and mailed overseas to service men and women in Afghanistan.

The Interact Club continues to participate in community service projects to help local non-profits throughout the year.  On January 22 Interact students will be collecting donations at the Pell City v. Oxford basketball game to raise money for breast cancer awareness.

“We just like to get out there and help when we can,” Curran said.  “The kids are so gung-ho about it.”

For more information about the Soldier Shoebox Project or any other project the Interact Club is working on, contact Margo Curran, 205-884-2350; curranmpchs@yahoo.com.

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