Girl Launches DVD Drive to Entertain Troops

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2007 - Collecting 50,000 DVDs to send to deployed troops is an ambitious goal, but that isn't stopping 7-year-old Katherine Toebes of Janesville, Wis., from trying.

She said she's collecting the DVDs "so (servicemembers) can laugh when they're away from their families."

Katherine's original goal was to send 50,000 DVDs to soldiers currently serving overseas in two years, her mother, Denise Toebes, said. The project also aims to send boxes of 100 DVDs to Veterans Affairs hospitals, Toebes said.

Since the last week in April, Katherine has collected about 100 DVDs and has received cash donations to purchase more. "More than likely, we will continue until she hits the mark of 50,000 (DVDs sent) to Iraq," Toebes said.

Katherine, who is home-schooled, got the idea for her project, which she's calling "DVDs 4 Soldiers," as she watched a show about other children supporting servicemembers. She said her actions and those of the children on the show will have a very important impact on the future.

"We can teach our kids to (support the troops) when we grow up, too," Katherine said.

Toebes agrees that supporting servicemembers is important for today's younger generation. It offers them a greater understanding of what the military is and what it does for all Americans, she said.

"I couldn't be more proud of her," Toebes said of her daughter. "I think it's important that kids as young as Katherine understand the great sacrifice that military people face every day being away from their families just to keep our country running.

"Even when we aren't at war, they're still away from their families just to keep us protected," she added.

Toebes learned this long before the United States sent troops to the Middle East. Her grandfathers fought in World War II and the Korean War, and most of her uncles were in Vietnam, she said.

To help Katherine reach her goal, donations can be sent to DVDs 4 Soldiers, P.O. Box 3585, Janseville, WI 53547-3585. Blackhawk Community Credit Union branches also are accepting monetary donations in person or by mail at Blackhawk Community Credit Union, of DVDs 4 Soldiers, P.O. Box 1366, Janesville, WI 53547.

Editor's Note: To find out about more individuals, groups and organizations that are helping support the troops, visit America Supports You directly connects military members to the support of the America people and offers a tool to the general public in their quest to find meaningful ways to support the military community.

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