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Hundreds of Holiday Cards Heading to US Troops Overseas Thanks to West Orange Students

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Hundreds of military personnel stationed overseas will have their holidays brightened with handmade cards thanks to hundreds of caring students in West Orange Schools.


For the past few years, students and teachers have created beautiful and unique handmade cards with messages of encouragement and support. The efforts began after WOHS Class of 2014 grad Dylan Pennell was accepted to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis. (Pennell was instrumental in establishing the Jr. AFROTC program at the high school, and is currently serving aboard a destroyer somewhere in the middle east.)


Pennell’s mother, Suzanne, the #ForOurTroops chairperson, explains.


#ForOurTroops collects donations of toiletries, snacks and other goodies to fill care packages for our service men and women who will be stationed away from home during the holiday season,” she began.


“For the past five years, my co-chair Kathy Pigott and I have asked local school districts to make cards and write letters of support and cheer to include in the boxes.The West Orange Public Schools have always  responded to our request in a big and wonderful way, every year! The cards and letters are the most appreciated items in our boxes, as our military recipients tell us,” she continued.


This year, we are sending packages to local men and women, including West Orange graduates. Our collection will be mailing out over 100 boxes on Friday and we are so grateful to the West Orange Public Schools teachers and students for their generous and creative spirit,” she noted.


In addition to the Holiday cards for the troops, Gregory Elementary has “adopted” a veteran this year and Washington School will be sending cards to a veteran’s hospital. The high school is still busily creating cards to be sent to young patients at St. Jude’s Children Hospital and Roosevelt not only created cards but collected supplies.


See all the photos HERE.



WOHS/ROTC students with Suzanne Pennell (far right) and WOHS LMC Beverly Tindall.




Cynthia Cumming
Dec. 5, 2018