This week, Courtney Claxton, sophomore in communication sciences, initiated a goods drive to support the USO. It was brought to her attention while volunteering at the USO that Fort Riley military families were in need of basic household supplies.
“(The USO’s) mission is to help support military troops and their family whether they are at the local base, or deployed overseas,” Claxton said. “They provide meals throughout the week as well as entertainment.”
The goods the USO is looking for specifically include toilet paper, paper towels, office supplies and ramen noodles. Any donations are accepted and put to use, Claxton said.
“We will accept all and any donations because we are a nonprofit organization, that means everything has to be donated,” Claxton said.
Claxton contacted the Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families.
“Courtney has been volunteering for the USO at Fort Riley and brought it to our attention that they were in need of supplies,” said Lori Zetmeir, senior in family studies and human services and intern for the Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families. “So she decided to do a campus wide goods drive to get some of the things that they need.”
The Fort Riley USO center strives to meet the basic needs of military families and give them a place to be entertained, relax and spend quality time together.
“The USO gives K-State students a way to get involved and give back to their neighbors,” Claxton said.
The USO is always looking for donations as well as volunteers. The process to becoming a volunteer is simple, according to Claxton.
Claxton said she has only been a volunteer for a few months but she already notices how much of an impact it has made in her life.
“It is a good feeling being able to give back to military families,” Claxton said. “It is rewarding hearing what people have to say. I have heard many comments from veterans that come to the center and let us know much they appreciate being able to depend on us.”
The USO strives to support not only military personnel but their families as well. They provide things such as meals, computers and printers and even a snack bar.
“Another goal of this drive is to make sure K-State has a presence on Fort Riley’s base,” Claxton said. “You just need to fill out an online application and then talk to a volunteer manager and they will get you involved. There are always opportunities to get connected.”
There will be boxes to place donations in Justin Hall, the residence halls and in the K-State Student Union until the end of the day on Friday, Nov. 14.
“They have sacrificed so much for us, time away from their families and fighting for our country,” Claxton said. “This is a way for us as a community to show that we appreciate everything they do for us.”