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4-H'ers help Operation: Military Kids
Group makes care packages for children of U.S. troops

COVINGTON - Children of U.S. military families soon will get a special treat.

All over the United States, groups are making Hero Packs - which include a journal, pen, disposable camera and other items - for children of military workers.

On Tuesday, nine Newton County 4-H'ers packed 100 Hero Packs at the Newton County Administration Building that they will take to the local National Guard unit for distribution.

This is the first time the group has participated in the project.

"Two new 4-H'ers were interested in helping out with military packets," so I contacted a representative at a higher level 4-H office to get ideas of different projects that involved the military," said Terri Kimble, 4-H educator for Newton County.

4-H is a national partner for Operation: Military Kids, and Kimble decided to get some of the area students involved in making the packages.

Last week, a 4-H group at Oak Hill Elementary School helped decorate cards to go in the packs, and a home-school group also made cards and notes that will go in the pack.

This week, a group of nine students met one morning to stuff backpacks filled with a journal, pen, envelopes, disposable camera and items that help the children keep in touch with their parents - the children may use the materials themselves or they may send them to their parent to use. The packs also include a 4-H stuffed animal, a resource guide for parents who stay home with the children and any other local donations.

Kimble said she hopes to partner with other 4-H groups, such as one in Henry County, where there is a great need for Hero Packs.

"We're hoping to pack more," she said. "The kids were excited; they had fun doing it. ... They all just wanted to help out."

More information about the project and information about requesting a package is available at www.georgia4h.org/omk.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.