Lousiana's Half-Ton for the Troops

11/09/12

When Soldiers' Angels Community Network Coordinator Lisa Lobrano came up with what she saw as a solution to an over-abundance of Halloween Candy, she had no idea she'd end up with nearly 1,000 pounds of candy for the troops!

Thinking about the upcoming Hallowing Trick or Treating her boyfriend's children would soon be doing, Lisa was concerned about them eating pounds and pounds of Halloween candy.  "Why not send some of it to the troops who need a taste of home?" she thought.  Knowing she had a good idea, she decided to get more people involved.

Lisa's sister, Michele Irivine, loved the idea and got the school where she teaches involved.  She put Lisa in touch with the Bossier Parish School Board's PR person and it all grew from there.  By the time it was over,  10 local elementary schools in Bossier and Shreveport, LA had joined the effort by becoming drop-off points for candy, and a dentist and pediatrician's office were also soliciting candy for the troops. 

Airmen from nearby Barksdale AFB even joined the fun, visiting the various schools to collect candy and bring it to Waller Elementary for packing.  "Waller really went above and beyond," Lisa says.  In addition to offering their lobby space for packing, Waller students wrote letters and colored pictures to accompany the candy gifts. 

Waller 5th Graders assisted the grownups in inspecting, sorting and packing the candy.  Altogether, they filled 83 flat-rate boxes to the brim, resulting in the local post office staying open late to receive and process all the boxes for shipping to a unit on an isolated Combat Outpost in Afghanistan. 

As to her efforts resulting in 968 pounds of candy for the troops, Lisa was stunned.  "I thought maybe we'd get one to three hundred pounds of candy," she says.  "Maybe.  Honestly, it really shocked me.  I was not expecting the overwhelming outpouring of support, especially from kids giving up their candy."  However, the shock hasn't kept her from thoughts of going even bigger.  "I'd love to expand it next year and get all the local schools in both parishes to participate," she exclaims.

Congratulations to CNC Lisa and the children of Bossier and Shreveport for creating a tremendous candy drive for the troops!