Pioneer PTSA collects military care kits through Nov. 16

ARLINGTON While several Arlington schools honored the contributions of Americas veterans, Pioneer Elementary is also showing its support for the troops through a donation drive of supplies that began Nov. 13 and runs through Nov. 16.
The president of the Pioneer Elementary Parent Teacher Student Association, Kari Fiorillo, and Community Relations Committee Leader Nicole Roskelley said that the school tried to conduct a drive for military care kits last year, but credited this years greater response to better timing and increased support from all corners.
The teachers have been really gung ho about it, Roskelley said. We started in September last year, but this year we decided to wait until after Halloween, which coincided with Veterans Day.
We wanted to remind the students that we shouldnt just think about our veterans during Christmas, Fiorillo said. Of course, what we send will take about four weeks to get there, which means itll arrive just before Christmas anyway.
Fiorillo and Roskelley said the students were enthusiastic, partly because several students parents are currently serving in the military, many of them on board ships such as USS Abraham Lincoln.
Roskelley noted that they were exploring the possibility of sending the military care kits to a specific group of troops in Iraq, since the packages would arrive sooner and give the children a more personal connection to the troops.
They could take photos and send them back to us, Roskelley said. Itd be nice to know the kits got there, and to see the troops saying thanks. Its important that the students see that people are giving their lives for their country and their freedoms.
We want these kids to realize whats going on over there, Fiorillo added.
The Pioneer PTSA is collecting canned foods, condiments, ground coffee, tea bags, hot chocolate mixes, microwavable foods, powdered drink mix singles, snack foods, toiletries, and certain types of clothing and recreational materials. Among the items that cannot be sent are pork products, alcohol, pornographic materials, liquid hand sanitizer, or aerosol cans, the latter of which may explode.
Do not send products in glass containers, unless they have been bubble-wrapped a few times, and package all liquid items and food items that may leak in zip-lock bags. For more information on what items may or may not be sent, you may e-mail the Pioneer PTSA at
The donation drive runs through the science and art night at Pioneer Elementary Nov. 16.

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