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East Central University students, particularly those from the university’s Student Support Services, have been part of an exciting community service endeavor to encourage those who serve our country through “Operation Holiday Cards for Soldiers Overseas.”

Many campus clubs and organizations on campus have been involved in the project in which they collected cards and held a card-signing event. The clubs and organizations included Student Support Services, Pi Kappa Alpha, Chi Omega, ECU Honors Club, ECU Counseling Club, Active Minds and many other ECU students.

The original goal for the project was collecting 500 cards, but that count has more than doubled to 1,190 and many more are expected to come in.

On Christmas Day, Cassie Johnson, academic success coach from the Student Support Services Office, and Vencent Johnson, of Upward Bound 2, will be traveling to Italy to deliver the cards in person to Del Din Military Base in Vicenza, Italy. The base has 1,000 soldiers, including the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Soldiers (Sky Soldiers) and U.S. Army Africa.

“We will be doing a Facebook Live (ECU Student Support Services Page) for all following us to share when we pass out these cards,” said Cassie Johnson. “This was also made possible because of the support of ECU departments and staff. We had multiple faculty members involved with coming to sign the cards and collecting signed cards from students.”

TRIO Program support has also been provided from Upward Bound 2, Upward Bound Math and Science, Veterans Upward Bound and Veteran Student Support Services as their participants signed cards.

The ECU community as well as other surrounding communities have helped including the Oka’ Institute; ECU employee Roberta Armstrong, who collected more than 400 cards from the town of Allen; Amy Cusack, of Stonewall Public Schools; Kiowa Elementary School; and other ECU entities including the Academic Success Center, Tutoring Zone, Admissions Office, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), VA Vocational Rehabilitation, ECU Linscheid Library, ECU Bookstore and many more.


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