Operation Smile: Fleetwood twins collect for military unit

Patriot photo by Lisa Mitchell Madison and Hunter Dietrich, 12, Fleetwood, organized Operation Smile to show their support for a military unit. Collection boxes are located in the lobby of Fleetwood Bank branches.

Fleetwood 12-year-old twins organized Operation Smile to show their support for a military unit.

When Madison and Hunter Dietrich heard that their friend’s father was being deployed to Kuwait for 12 months, they wanted to express their gratitude to Major Philip Daczewitz, Blandon, and his entire unit.

“They first spoke to me about their feelings regarding what it must be like to have your dad leave home for over a year, and from there it rolled into what we could do to show our love and support,” said their mother, Jessica Dietrich.

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This lead to their idea to collect items to send to Daczewitz and his unit.

“I told them that it doesn’t take a lot of money to organize something great for the entire community – it just takes a lot of heart,” said Dietrich.

Madison and Hunter met with Rita Phillips from the First National Bank of Fleetwood and expressed their desire to head a July Community Service project and place collection boxes in the lobbies of each of their branches.

“Fleetwood Bank has graciously agreed!” said Dietrich. “We want to thank Fleetwood Bank who has graciously helped us make Operation Smile a success.”

From there was born Operation Smile. Their goal is to put smiles on the unit members’ faces.

Their boxes were placed in the lobbies July 1 and remain there until July 31. They will be collecting items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, beef jerky, DVDs and sunscreen. They noted that it is currently 122 degrees in Kuwait.

When asked what was the one thing these service members needed, Dietrich said they were told letters.

“They love, love, love to hear from you!! They also would love for the children to draw pictures so they can cover the walls of their 8x12 foot pods,” said Dietrich.

Letters and photos can also be placed in the boxes.

All collected items will be presented to the Daczewitz family at the end of July. The Dietrich family will then help the Daczewitz family package the collections and ship the items to the unit in Kuwait.

The twins talk about their experience in next issue, July 25. Also look for the story online.

List of Requested Items:

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Deodorant, Dental Plackers, Toiletries, Foot Powder, Nuts/Trail Mix/Granola Bars, Crystal Light Packets, Beef Jerky/Slim Jim’s, Sunscreen, Non-Perishable Foods, Disposable Razors/Shaving Cream, Travel Games/Decks of Cards, Baseball Caps with any Team Logo, DVDs, Magazines/Books, Batteries (AAA & AA), Anything that represents the USA, Children’s Drawing’s, and Letters.

The First National Bank of Fleetwood has also set up an account in the name of Major Phillip Daczewitz.