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Wells Leadership Club Makes A Difference

United for the Troops is near and dear to social studies teacher Marissa Gargano’s heart. Her son, Matthew Gargano–BHS Class of 2015– is a 1st Lieutenant Marine Corps 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines currently deployed to Okinawa


So it makes perfect sense that Gargano’s Leadership Club at Wells Middle School is making up care packages for soldiers.


“Many soldiers are just out of high school and don’t get care packages from home, so this makes a difference,” said Gargano.


The Leadership Club meets every Wednesday after school. It is composed of about 20 seventh and eighth graders. Throughout the year, they do fundraisers, collect pet food for the Putnam Humane Society, and volunteer their time.


This week, students put together the care packages for soldiers. Some are pouring dirt into small plastic envelopes with a note attached: Sending you a little bit of American soil so you don’t feel so far from home. Love, Henry H. Wells MS Leadership Club, Brewster, NY.


“We are sending the soil so the soldiers feel love and know that we are thinking of them,” said Charlie Scott.


At one table, students are cutting stars from tattered flags and putting them into ziplock baggies. It is a special way to recycle retired flags.


“Soldiers who are deployed can carry these star patches in their wallets,” said Jetlira Mufhkolaj.


“Mrs. G’s son is in Japan,” said Mark Tallerico.


Haley Jacknetti and Emily Hughes have been in the club throughout middle school and are considered the heart of the club.


“My favorite events are when we all get together as a group and work as a team,” said Haley, “we are connecting with each other and doing good.”


In addition to the tattered flag stars and soil packages, the club is doing a wish list drive this month for things like snacks, toiletries and sundries to send to soldiers–items soldiers say they miss the most. Once everything is collected, the group will drop everything off at the United for the Troops offices in Carmel for mailing just in time for the holidays.


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