hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

November 29, 2012

Students get into the giving spirit by helping troops

By Alex Lippa
alippa@hgazette.com

---- — The holiday season is the time of giving, and the students of Sacred Hearts School are giving in a big way.

Last week, the students mailed 50 boxes of supplies to soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

“It’s kind of surprising how little these guys have,” said Tricia Bamford, a fifth-grade teacher who led the project. “They really just want the simplest things.”

Bamford’s son Dan is a second lieutenant in the Marines who was deployed to Afghanistan in early October. He was formerly an assistant lacrosse coach at Haverhill High School.

Bamford’s students coordinated a drive to collect goods which the soldiers asked for. Items included salt and pepper, hot chocolate mix, trail mix, sunflower seeds, playing cards, instant coffee, gum, eye drops, energy/granola bars, and Gatorade or Propel drink powder. Bamford coordinated the drive with Veterans Day activities that happened at the school earlier this month.

“It’s nice that we remember them because people are forgetting that they are out there,” Bamford said of military personnel like her son. “They are young kids who still need basic things. People are tending to forget that we still have a big group out there.”

The students sent the items last Wednesday from the Bradford Post Office. In addition to filling the boxes, students wrote a note to a member of Dan Bamford’s platoon saying what was in the box and telling a bit about themselves.

“The students had a great time doing this,” Tricia Bamford said. “They were all so happy while they were filling the boxes.”

Bamford said she has been teaching lessons about Afghanistan and current events in that part of the world since her son was deployed. She said her son was deployed from Camp Lejuene in North Carolina, and that he is expected back next spring.