Operation Support our Troops donation drive sees increase in participation


Axle Michael

Donations from Naperville Central’s Operation Support our Troops donation drive are piled outside of the school’s main office before being shipped off to a warehouse.

Evelyn Zwicky, Staff Writer

Operation Support Our Troops, a donation drive benefiting the active military, returned to  Naperville Central for Veterans Day. Both staff members and students collected items to create care packages for deployed troops. 

The drive was started at Central almost immediately after the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001 as a way to send support to American troops fighting in Afghanistan. Social studies teacher Mike Bochenski has led the organization of this charity work at Central, and says his reasons for running the drive are personal. 

“I knew students that were in the military and they were deployed,” Bochenski said. ¨So it was the least I could do.”

In the past few years, donation numbers have dwindled. With the help of social studies teacher Todd Holmberg and several communication arts teachers, Bochenski wanted to step up efforts to collect as much as possible this year. 

“We’ve got a quarter [of my students donating], so if that raises the awareness and gets more things for the soldiers, that’s awesome.” Holmberg said. 

The window for donations closed on Veterans Day and the supplies were taken to a nearby warehouse to be packed and shipped to deployed troops. In total, approximately 45 boxes of donations from Central staff and students were collected, which is more than previous years.