By Brynn Stevens and Kathleen McGinty         

The Solutions for Soldiers fund-raiser, organized collaboratively by members of the National Honor Society and the Interact Club, will launch this Monday, March 19, in an effort to provide support to troops overseas.

Solutions for Soldiers, a community service project organized and orchestrated by senior Elizabeth Pugliese, is based on last spring’s Letters for Troops drive, through which students were given the opportunity to send handwritten notes to soldiers.

“I tried Letter for Troops last year, but it didn’t really work,” said Pugliese.  “I wanted to make it a bigger deal and get more people to help.”  Wanting to improve upon Letters for Troops and provide the AHS community with more of an opportunity to become involved, Pugliese has spent much of the last month planning Solutions for Soldiers.

From Monday, March 19, through Friday, March 23, students are encouraged to donate supplies or write letters for soldiers living overseas.  The supplies being collected span from toiletries to clothing, but items in the most demand include sunscreen and bug repellant. A full list of items will be available in all classrooms, and donation boxes will be outside the main office.  Students interested in sending handwritten thank-you letters to soldiers can drop off notes in a separate box also situated in front of the main office.

In addition to donating supplies or expressing thanks to troops, students and teachers will be able to purchase t-shirts Monday through Friday at the kiosk during all three lunches.  Shirts will cost $10, but for an extra $5, raffle tickets will be on sale. The winner of the raffle will receive two tickets to the Bruins versus Lightning game on Tuesday, March 27, at 7:30 PM.

Another senior working on the project, Alex Camilo, was glad she had the opportunity to help with such a great cause.

“They [the soldiers] get easily forgotten in our daily lives, and this is a way to show we care about them,” she said. “They risk their lives to make ours better, and it’s important that they know we are thankful for their efforts.”

Donations and letters will be included in care packages sent over to the troops, and all proceeds will be donated to Operation Troop Support in Danvers, Mass., and Buddy’s Heroes in Mashpee, Mass., both organizations that work to rehabilitate veterans.