Foundation helps COPE send 'Soap for Soldiers'

collected donationsThe Oswego College Foundation and two student groups have stepped in to help COPE, the Coalition for Peace Education and Mediation, make life a little brighter for U.S. troops abroad.

COPE’s offices were burglarized the weekend of Oct. 29, and thieves made off with $92 the student group had collected to send grooming supplies to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Oswego College Foundation has offered to pay the cost of shipping the estimated 40 packages of soap, shampoo and other toiletries the student group collected.

Student Association senators pitched in with personal donations totaling $31 and the Hart Hall Council donated $30. These extra donations will go to purchase more supplies to ship to soldiers, according to Elizabeth Flinn-Brown, public relations director for COPE.

“From all of COPE, we want to say thanks to everybody who chipped in to make up for the money that was lost, especially the College Foundation. We really, really appreciate it,” Flinn-Brown said.

She said the group was aiming to mail the packages in its “Soap for Soldiers” project before the end of the semester.

“Supporting our troops abroad is a wonderful cause, and the students worked so hard to collect these needed items for them,” said Kevin Mahaney, vice president for development and alumni relations and executive director of the Oswego College Foundation. “It would be a shame for their efforts to go to waste because of the thoughtless actions of a thief. We’re happy we could help.”

COPE conducted a donation drive outside of Wal-Mart earlier this semester and received about 160 items from community people and students.

Flinn-Brown got the idea from a television show she saw last winter, which explained how to send packages to the troops.

“I thought, ‘Our group is about peace education, maybe we should get people involved,’” she said. “I threw it out in a meeting and someone said, ‘So, we’re going to get soap for soldiers?’ and the name just stuck.”

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PHOTO CAPTION: ‘Soap’ boxes—Senior Elizabeth Flinn-Brown, public relations director for the student Coalition for Peace Education and Mediation, with some of the items collected in its “Soap for Soldiers” campaign. After a theft, the effort received help from the Oswego College Foundation, Student Association senators and Hart Hall Council.

(Posted: Dec 02, 2005)