Ella Schorlemmer Elementary adopts soldiers

April 14, 2012 at midnight
Updated April 13, 2012 at 11:14 p.m.

Ella Schorlemmer Elementary School adopted 25 military men from different branches of the military for Valentine's Day.

The school-wide "Heroes of Our Hearts" project was inspired by the students. They wanted to show their appreciation to these selfless individuals that protect them every day.

Tony Thomas, of the U.S. Army, visited the school in January to talk to student council about the importance of the care packages to them.

"When (soldiers) receive the care packages that contain greeting cards, snacks and pictures, it reminds them of home. It's a good feeling," Thomas said.

Each classroom was given a military soldier to adopt for Valentine's Day.

"We wanted to adopt military soldiers from the Crossroads because we felt it would mean even more to us that we are showing our gratitude to not only all soldiers, but soldiers from our hometown," said Yolanda Medrano, a co-student council sponsor.

Out of 25 service members, the school sponsored 13 from the Crossroads area: • Gregory Bandish, Air Force

• Jeffrey Zengerle, Army

• Alejandro Alvarez, Army

• Tony Thomas, Army

• Jeremy Serenil, Army

• David Grimaldo, Army

• David Cavazos, Army

• JJ Houlton, National Guard

• Victor Holst, Army

• Erik Mednis, Navy

• John Paul Justice, Army

• Greg Pena, Army

Schorlemmer Elementary students donated various items, like puzzle books, baby wipes, powdered mixes, hard candies, greeting cards, letters and even Valentine's items to go with the theme.

The student council members gathered the boxes, went through the items, wrote a Valentine's card for each soldier, and packed the boxes. They were mailed on Feb. 13, with money raised for shipping raised by the council.

Soldiers started receiving their care packages as early as four days later. Miriam Cihal was the first teacher to get a response from her soldier.

"I read the email from our solider to the class. It made their day," Cihal said. "Little by little, the soldiers responded about their received care packages by email, letter or phone call."



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