Fifth Grader Helps Launch School-wide Collection for Soldiers
Jackson Moeller and his classmates at Dardenne Elementary spent weeks bringing in items for Operation Undergarment, a drive that collects necessities for wounded service members.
Jackson Moeller doesn't know anyone in the military—but service men and women overseas have reason to thank the fifth grader this holiday season.
Jackson said he was in a Boy Scout meeting when he heard about Operation Undergarment, a drive started by the Department of Defense, that collects items for injured military members to make their hospital stays more comfortable.
"I went home and looked at the Operation Undergarment website and saw 1,000 soldiers had been helped by the drive since 2004," he said.
"He explained when wounded soldiers are medevaced they are taken to the hospital without their belongings," she said. "I just assumed all those needs were met, but of course all your personal items aren't with you and if you're hurt or sick—you don't have those comforts of home," she said.
Hutcheson did some research and decided the project would coincide perfectly with the school's annual Veterans Day ceremony.
"Our district always tries to honor the veterans and men and women who are currently serving our country," she said.
With his school onboard, Jackson got to work.
To kick off the project he gave a speech at the Veterans Day ceremony, then got busy making posters and fliers to encourage his classmates.
Hutcheson said soon items were pouring in—everything from toothpaste, razors, underwear and other necessities.
"It was really heartwarming to see little kiddos get into that," she said.
Dardenne Elementary collected the items for three weeks. Jackson said he and his family picked up the camouflage donation box he painted for the drive, and began packaging the items this week, so they can send them in time for the holidays.
Hutcheson said the project was such a success, she plans to do it again next year.
Jackson said he is proud of his work with Operation Undergarment.
"I tried it out and it was a big success," he said.
Hutcheson said she is proud of Jackson for being so dedicated to a project, just for the sake of helping others.
"I thought he was doing this for a merit badge—but he just did it on his own," Hutcheson said. "He just thought the idea sounds like the right thing to do, I thought that was really admirable."
Jackson said he has a message for the military men and women who will receive the much-needed items he helped collect this holiday season.
"I would say thank you for keeping us safe," he said.