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Students to send packages to Iraq

Justin Tardiff | Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Beginning next week, the Notre Dame Accounting Association will be shipping out packages filled with Notre Dame memorabilia and other items – including hot chocolate, Gatorade mix, snack food, DVDs, magazines and soup – to Notre Dame graduates currently serving in the armed forces overseas.

The Accounting Association has been collecting names and addresses of graduates serving overseas since late last week, said junior Rena Zarah, one of the directors of the project.

The association will be sending packages to any address it receives, she said.

“[The Accounting Association] sent out an e-mail to the Notre Dame community saying if you know anyone serving, give us their address and we’ll send them a package,” Zarah said.

Last year, the association only had 40 requests for packages, but in just five days since announcing the program, 110 names have been submitted, Zarah said.

Many of the addresses the Association has received have come from “brothers or sisters or nieces of people serving, so it’s just as if it were from a family member,” Zarah said.

Members of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps also have provided the association with names of people to send to, Zarah said.

“We’re pretty sure we’ll be able to send packages to everyone, but they’ll be smaller than last year’s” because of the number of people whose names have been given to them this year, Zarah said.

Every item in the packages is donated.

“We’re really depending on people to give stuff to us to make the packages good,” Zarah said.

She said the Association hopes the Notre Dame memorabilia in the packages will remind soldiers of their time at the University.

The Association is also accepting monetary donations to pay for other expenses, such as postage, which they hope will be at least partially covered by donations, Zarah said.

The Association ran a concession stand a few weeks ago to help cover the costs.

Local South Bend stores such as Wal-Mart are also getting involved in the project by giving the Association store credit to buy items for the packages, Zarah said.

“All donations are going to be collected next week,” Zarah said.

“The next Monday we’re putting together all the boxes, and then that Tuesday, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, they’ll be shipped out,” she said.

Zarah said soldiers have been appreciative of the packages in the past.

“Last year we did get a thank-you note from a soldier,” Zarah said. “It’s the most wonderful thing to receive a package, especially from the Notre Dame community. They’re very grateful.”

The Association will be collecting donations in the lobby of the Mendoza College of Business next week from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.