Vienna teens seek donations to make care packages for overseas troops

Donations for the Club Phoenix Teen Council’s HeroBox drive are being collected at the Vienna Community Center (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Some teenage volunteers in Vienna have teamed up with a national nonprofit to show their support for American military service members.

The town’s Club Phoenix Teen Council launched a donation drive this week to collect clothes, non-perishable food and other items that will be assembled into care packages for military troops serving around the world.

Donations will be accepted through March 7 at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry Street SE), the town announced on Wednesday (Feb. 28) in a press release. Wanted items include:

  • New socks and undershirts
  • Non-perishable food items such as beef jerky, canned tuna, or dried fruit
  • Hygiene items such as body wipes, hand sanitizer, and sunscreen
  • Other common supplies like pens, books, or journals.

The teen council is a volunteer program in Club Phoenix, the town-run teen center that offers after-school programs and services to students in sixth through 12th grade. The council consists of nine members in seventh through 12th grade.

To organize the donation drive, the council has partnered with the nonprofit HeroBox, which aims to “provide physical and emotional support” to deployed service members, according to its website.

Designed to give the council members volunteering experience, the initiative builds on a letter-writing campaign that Club Phoenix conducted during the recent winter holiday season with A Million Thanks, another nonprofit dedicated to supporting members of the military.

“We wanted to continue supporting them, so we teamed up with HeroBox, an organization that helps
troops year-round,” Ianna Alhambra, the town’s after school program coordinator, said.

According to the Town of Vienna, the teen council hopes to collect enough donations to “fill at least 20 medium size USPS care packages for 20 military personnel with 15-20 items per package.”

Items can be dropped off at the community center’s lobby on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday from 12-6 p.m. The Club Phoenix Teen Center, which is located in the community center’s basement, will also accept donations from 2:30-6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 2:30-9 p.m. on Fridays.

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