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The Antelope

Alpha Omicron Pi sends care packages to soldiers

Photo by Britney Manuel Libby Yungdahl fills a care package with snacks for soldiers overseas.

Alpha Omicron Pi sorority packaged 451 care packages for soldiers overseas for the holidays at the eighth annual Sisters for Soldiers event last week. Over $7,700 was raised to help cover additional supplies and packaging costs.

Members of Alpha Omicron Pi raised nearly $4,000 more than last year’s event and made 59 more packages.

“It was really amazing to see that not only that we got that much more, but that we got that much more during a pandemic,” said Jessie Daake, philanthropy chair for Alpha Omicron Pi.

Sisters for Soldiers relies heavily on donations from the Kearney community. 

Members of Alpha Omicron Pi reached out to family and friends asking for monetary donations. They also boothed in front of Family Fresh and Hy-Vee in Kearney throughout the month of Oct. up until the event to seek both monetary and food donations from the community. 

The campus and Kearney community were invited to the event to help prepare the care packages.

Peanuts, sunflower seeds, slim jims, beef jerky, chapstick, wet wipes, individually wrapped candy, drink mixes and other snack items were all items included in the care packages. Activities were also included, such as a deck of cards or activity books. A new item for the packages this year was DVDs.

Over 18,000 individual items were donated by the campus and Kearney as a whole.

“My favorite part is just seeing how amazing the Kearney community has been, and how generous they are,” Daake said. “It’s so overwhelming to see how amazing they are, especially with it being a pandemic. I had no clue how this event was going to go, but the community has been great.”

Along with the food and activity items, participants made personalized holiday cards to include in their boxes. 

After the event, the packages were sent to Soldiers’ Angels, a nonprofit organization located in Texas who distributes the packages to deployed soldiers. The packages are typically sent to soldiers who normally do not receive packages.

Nineteen of the packages were addressed to specific deployed members by the event attendees.

In previous years, the event took place at the Alpha Omicron Pi chapter house. Due to COVID-19 capacity restrictions, the sorority hosted Sisters for Soldiers at the Nebraskan Student Union in the Ponderosa Room to allow more room for social distancing. 

Hand sanitizer and masks were also available for participants. 

“All in all, even with COVID, we still exceeded our goal which was awesome,” said Bailey Reigle, a member of Alpha Omicron Pi. “I think the goal for next year is to just keep expanding. We did 450 [packages] this year, so maybe even shoot for 500 or so next year.” 

After purchasing other necessary supplies and postage costs, Alpha Omicron Pi will donate the remaining $3,000 to the Central Nebraska Veterans’ Home.

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