As part of February’s National Court Reporting and Captioning Week, students in Alfred State’s court reporting curriculum put a personal twist on the typical military care package, taking the time to prepare items exclusively for Alfred State alumni serving overseas.
“We were originally going to send our packages to the larger Operation Gratitude non-profit group; however, Sgt. 1st Class William Ernest, who works as a recruiter with the Army National Guard on campus and as a military science instructor for the ROTC, came up with this idea of sending our gifts straight to our own alumni,” said group advisor and court reporting instructor Danielle Green, an Alfred State alumna who hails from Wellsville. “We knew the men and women serving overseas would really appreciate that personal touch.”
“We have so many alumni who stay connected to the campus, so when Danielle brought the idea to us, it sounded like a great way to show our support and build our resumes,” said student Emily Sallome, a senior court reporting student from Batavia.
Danielle and seven of her students worked long hours on this Operation Gratitude-inspired project, which included soliciting funds for non-perishable food items, toiletries, warm clothes, and personalized thank-you cards. They were able to secure more than $160 worth of donated items from the community, the Alfred State Campus Store, and the Center for Civic Engagement in time for National Court Reporting and Captioning Week, which ran Feb. 16 to 22, 2014.
Students were even able to purchase parachute paracord material with the funds and make their own version of the popular survival paracord bracelets to include in the packages. “Our students worked very hard on this project and they did a great job with the bracelets. It’s a complicated method. They tried to teach me how to do it, but I don’t quite have the hang of it yet,” Danielle said.
The students also gave out paracord bracelets and thank-you cards to former military and veterans on campus, including SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor James Grillo, a Marine combat veteran of Vietnam and the chairman of the Veteran’s Task Force at Alfred State. Danielle says he was touched by the gift and wears his bracelet every day.
“It’s important for our overseas military to know people are thinking of them and care about the work they are doing,” Emily said. “These gifts are just a small ‘thank you’ for all they do for us.”