Sending hope: an easy way to make a difference

Sending hope: an easy way to make a difference

Sarah Kivela, Ranger Review Opinions Editor and Webmaster

Anne Frank once said, “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” Even through my occasional moments of cynicism, I can’t help but agree with her.

This holds true throughout the world, and especially at Lewis-Palmer. So many people have asked me how they can get involved and volunteer throughout Colorado and the world, and after a while I’ve run out of original answers.

However, a few months ago I stumbled upon something that anyone anywhere can do. And it’s easy.

The organization is called Adopt a US Soldier. Its main focus is to connect deployed soldiers to civilians and military personnel alike here in the States.

The idea is that the person who “adopts” a soldier can send soldiers things they want but might be lacking – whether it be a taste of home like sweets (I’ve noticed they really like Pop Rocks, actually), battery-powered fans, or even a magazine or game they can play. Sometimes soldiers will ask for additional socks or shirts, because they’re in remote locations that don’t have a sufficient trading post. On the other hand, sometimes they don’t ask for anything at all.

That’s the beauty of it.

Yes, sending care packages is a kind gesture that benefits both your soldier and other soldiers they might be with. But the truly beautiful thing about adopting a soldier is just the fact that someone fighting to protect our own freedoms has something to look forward to, even if it’s just an email once a week or an occasional letter.

My soldier has told me that he carries print-outs of the emails or letters we’ve exchanged with him on missions because it gives him something to remember – that he’s not alone, and that someone remembers him.

Out of all the organizations I’ve volunteered with, AAUSS has made one of the biggest impressions in my life. Despite not necessarily being completely in favor of this war, I can still support the ones fighting and dying for it.

It’s become something close to my heart, because I know that in four years’ time (after graduating from college and the Navy ROTC program) I could be one of the soldiers getting letters from someone that decides to “adopt” me.

If you’re looking for something to do that can positively influence a hero’s life, try AAUSS.For more information or to register to adopt your own soldier, visit: