Business Students Ship Out Holiday Cheer to Soldiers
Nov. 23, 2011
UT Dallas students played the roles of bustling elves recently as they gathered to compile packages of holiday cheer for U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Working with assembly-line precision on the second floor of the Naveen Jindal School of Management, smiling students stuffed more than 150 boxes with welcome remembrances from home: white cotton socks, favorite magazines and books, toothpaste and suntan lotion, and sweet and savory candies and foodstuffs.
Accounting professor John Barden is known for inspiring his students to give back to the community by engaging them in worthy causes.
“This is something we should feel good about doing,” accounting professor John Barden told students. “Remember, how we fill the boxes translates to how the soldiers find them – we want them to feel good when they open them.”
Barden, who is also the director of the school’s undergraduate accounting program, is known for inspiring future accountants to give back to the community by engaging them in worthy causes. At the beginning of each semester, Barden talks to his students about the “Classroom Citizenship and Social Responsibility” portion of his class.
James Lewis and his brother John, both veterans and business administration students, helped gather and sort the $10,000 in items for the care packages.
“Student donations and our corporate sponsors really made this possible. It’s very generous,” Lewis said. Costco provided items ranging from beef jerky to chocolate. Mary Kay gave boxes of suntan lotion, and Riverchase Dental provided tubes of toothpaste. United Supermarkets and Ben E. Keith added to the pile of snack foods.
James Lewis, a veteran and UT Dallas business administration student, helped organize items for the care packages.
The JSOM undergraduate lounge was filled with students writing letters to soldiers. Mae Nicholls, whose husband served in the armed forces for 20 years, shouted over the crowd, directing the flow of traffic in the lounge.
“This is a special time of year when everybody should be home,” said Nicholls, a senior accounting student.
The letters contained messages filled with gratitude and love, they read, “Thank you for everything!” and “Miss you, come home soon.”
“Sending these care packages is a small gift compared to the sacrifices our soldiers make for our country,” said Dr. Hasan Pirkul, dean and Caruth Chair of Management at the Jindal School of Management. “We hope these boxes make them feel a little more at home this holiday season and let them know that we remember them.”