For many, Christmastime is for family and being with ones they love.
But for many of the men and women who have made the sacrifice to serve their fellow man as members of the armed forces, being with family during this season is not possible.
Thanks to the efforts of members of the Sacred Heart Student Council and the Sedalia Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee, a sense of home was delivered to airmen of the 509th Security Forces at Whiteman Air Force Base (WAFB) who were not able to be with their families during the holidays.
The Friday before Christmas, Sacred Heart Student Council (STUCO) members prepared nearly 200 stockings to be delivered to WAFB dorms later on Friday.
It was the second year student council members have been involved with the project.
“STUCO was invited to participate last year by Mykel Schlotterbeck, who is a member of the Military Affairs Committee. She is also the mother of last year’s SHS STUCO president,” stated Sacred Heart STUCO Advisor Elyse Starke. “Mrs. Schlotterbeck has been working behind the scenes doing a great deal of work to pull this project together and we are honored to work with her and the Sedalia community again to make this happen.”
According to Ms. Starke, the Military Affairs Committee has been working diligently to collect an array of stocking stuffers. Businesses have contributed items for the stockings including peanuts, soda, and gift cards.
The Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce gave the members money, which they used to buy additional items to fill the stockings.
Sacred Heart art students made Christmas cards to go into each stocking. Perhaps one of the sweetest treats was the addition of homemade and decorated Christmas cookies prepared by the student council members.
“Our soldiers won’t be able to have these goodies since they weren’t able to be home with their families,” event co-chair Summer Caton explained.
Ms. Caton said both planning and the event had been fun and a bonding experience for those involved. She added, “hopefully we might get some leftover cookies... .”
The 16 members of the organization who are in grades nine through 12 traveled to Whiteman Air Force Base Friday afternoon to deliver the stockings.
Members hung the stockings with care on the dorm room doors of each member of the 509th Security Forces.
“Student Council’s mission is to ‘Lead. Serve. Inspire,’” STUCO President Maia Smith explained.
“This is a meaningful project for us because many of these airmen aren’t that much older than us.
“They are making many sacrifices to serve our country, and this is one small way we can say thanks,” Ms. Smith added.
“Before we go home for break we want to take care of others who won’t be seeing their family for Christmas ... and perhaps not for quite some time.”
Ms. Lecchi is a reporter for the Sedalia Democrat newspaper. A version of this article was published Dec. 23. This version is presented here with permission.