OU-Tulsa, TU Team Up to Support Blue Star Mothers

Thursday, November 20, 2008

While the men’s basketball teams from the University of Oklahoma The University of Tulsa are scheduled to face each other on the court on Dec. 7, students from TU and OU-Tulsa have been working together to gather supplies to support American troops overseas.

Students from both campuses are gathering supplies and small convenience items that will be donated to the Blue Star Mothers of America–Oklahoma Chapter 1 to be shipped to American soldiers serving overseas.

This drive is coinciding with the OU-TU men’s basketball game on Dec. 7, which is the 67th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The scheduling of the basketball game made it a natural fit for coming up with an activity that supported American troops.

The “Freedom Boxes” include snacks, toiletries, stationery, socks, playing cards, batteries and other conveniences that are mailed to the soldiers. The Blue Star Mothers organization has collected and distributed these boxes as a small way of thanking soldiers for their sacrifice and patriotism for their military service.

Suggested donated items include: sunglasses, sunscreen (lotions or creams only), eyewash, socks (white, gray or black), single-serve wrappers of candy, gum or mints, single-size bags of snack foods, dry powder drink mixes such as Gatorade, Kool-aid, tea bags, etc., lip balm, toothbrushes and mouthwash (small travel size), crossword puzzle books, handheld games, foot powder, AA or AAA batteries, toilet paper, stick deodorants, and baby wipes.

Prohibited items include aerosols or glass packaging. .

Donations will be accepted until Friday, Dec. 5, at the following campus locations:
• Holmes Student Center lobby, 5th and Florence on the TU Campus
• South Entrance, OU-Tulsa Schusterman Center, 41st and Yale

Both locations are open 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Cash donations are also being sought to defray the shipping costs, which is about $11 per box, according to Blue Star Mothers. Also, family with loved ones serving overseas are asked to provide current APO addresses for their soldier so that the organization may send a Freedom Box to them.

In addition to the campus locations, donations of items or cash will be collected at the BOK Center prior to the game.

Students from OU-Tulsa and TU organized this drive in connection with a weeklong event that spotlights the academic and community partnerships between the two campuses. Faculty members from the two schools currently have joint research projects in cancer, mental illness, engineering and health care. The schools also work cooperatively to provide a groundbreaking physician assistant program that is now in its second year.

Last year, students from the two campuses worked together to gather nearly 700 books for the Kendall-Whittier Elementary School.