Students Write Cards to Encourage Troops in a Community Project Created by Laura Newcomb

sodiers-read-letters.jpg Laura Newcomb cares deeply about the troops serving in Iraq and wanted her Self Expression and Leadership Project to contribute to them.

Woman sends encouraging words to troops



Burlington Country Times

SHAMONG — Laura Newcomb said she wanted her community to be a model of encouragement for the military men and women serving overseas. The Shamong resident enlisted the help of about 750 students from Indian Mills Memorial School and Indian Mills Elementary School in Shamong, and from Seneca High School in Tabernacle to create and send encouragement cards to the troops.

The community project was part of a requirement for a leadership class Newcomb is taking at Landmark Education in Philadelphia, an international organization that provides seminars on communication and life skills. “I chose my hometown and I asked the students at the local schools to make encouragement cards for the troops,” Newcomb said. “I wanted (the students) to think about those who are sacrificing so much for us back at home. The schools were very enthusiastic about cooperating.” The cards were inscribed with messages of encouragement and thanks. Newcomb calls her project “Operation Love and Support.” I have a concern for the troops who are overseas,” she said. “I wanted to be compassionate and courageous for them and perhaps inspire them to be courageous. I really care about them and I can't imagine how hard it must be for them.” Newcomb also set up donation boxes at Murphy's Marketplace on Medford Lakes Road in Tabernacle and on Tuckerton Road in Medford. Anyone wishing to donate items such as shampoo, soap and toothpaste can drop them off at the donation boxes at either Murphy's location, Newcomb said. Those who want to make their own encouragement card may drop them off in the Murphy's boxes, she said. Newcomb, who works for Federal Express in Mount Laurel, said her company is covering the cost of shipping the cards and other items to Iraq. One 40-pound box of supplies costs about $300 to ship, she said. Newcomb mailed one stack of cards and a box of donations on July 9 and will send off the remaining cards and supplies July 23. “I wanted to make a contribution and a difference and this is how I could achieve it,” she said.

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