R.C. Murphy Junior High School eighth-grader Eric Kirchner led the charge on a community service project aimed at providing the comforts of home to active-duty soldiers and veterans. Through the Ronkonkoma-based organization, Boots on the Ground New York, and with his family’s assistant, Eric volunteered at the food pantry that helps supply veterans with food and other needed supplies. Eric also coordinated a collection drive at the school.
With the help of the Murphy community, Eric collected a number of supplies – including protein bars, toothpaste, peanut butter and phone cards – for the organization. After the initial success of the project, Eric organized an effort to have students in every English class and some special areas write letters of appreciation to the soldiers. Many of these letters were emblazoned with stars, strips, flags and eagles.
“The troops love to receive these letters,” said Eric. “It affects them deeply and motivates them that people care about them and what they do.” In addition to Eric’s work at Murphy, he also coordinated similar collection efforts at P.J. Gelinas Junior High School and each of the district’s elementary schools.
Photo courtesy of Three Village Schools