CBS: Wrapping for Warriors Service Project

  • Students from Cherokee Bend (CBES) School understand America is the home of the free because of the brave. As a result, they have chosen to show their appreciation for the service in which our veterans have rendered by giving back to them during this holiday season. 

    Cherokee Bend's students, teachers, and school leaders were excited to participate in their second Wrapping for America's Warriors. Dr. Sandy Ritchey, Cherokee Bend's principal embraced the service project last year and is proud of the Chiefs' commitment to spreading holiday cheer to our veterans. While this is CBES second year to participate, the partnership began at Brookwood Forest Elementary, another Mountain Brook School four years ago.  

    This year, the sixth-grade students at CBE hosted a donation drive and asked students to bring in brand-new coats, toboggans, scarves, gloves, and socks for our veterans. After receiving the donations, the fifth-grade students took great pride in wrapping each gift. The students collected and wrapped more than 100 gifts for our local veterans. 

    Cherokee Bend's students collected enough items to provide every inpatient at the Birmingham VA Hospital a present for the holiday season. These gifts were presented to the Veterans Hospital Department of Voluntary Service on Friday, December 17th. The Chief of Voluntary Service, Charmel Taylor; and assistant chief of voluntary service, Barry Austin; and their staff Brandice Jones, and Mark Drayton came to The Bend and shared with our fifth-grade students how the gifts will impact of Veterans. They collected the items and traded "cookies for coats!" 

    Charmel Taylor, Chief of Voluntary Service at Birmingham's VA Hospital, and Carla Dudley, Assistant Principal at Cherokee Bend Elementary shared that this project is near and dear to their hearts because it allows their work paths to cross (they are sisters). They were taught in their youth by their grandmother and mother, "Service to others is the rent we pay for our room on earth." That quote resonated and is a guiding principle for both of them personally and professionally.  They are grateful their professional worlds allow them to connect Cherokee Bend's leaders and learners with our nation's veterans. "We believe it is important for students to serve our veterans... our nation's real heroes... the ones who freely served our country in order for us to experience the freedom and pride that come along with being an American."