Editor’s Note: Part 2, twins talk about their experience. Part 1 about Operation Smile was published last issue.
By Lisa Mitchell
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 organized Operation Smile, a donation collection for Daczewitz and his unit.
“We’re doing this to help my friend because he is in Kuwait and I’d really like to help him,” said Hunter. “They sleep in these little pods and it’s really hot.”
Their goal is to put smiles on the unit members’ faces and “to make them happy there, to make it feel more like home,” said Hunter.
“We’re doing this to help the military have food and other items,” said Madison.
Donation boxes were placed in the lobby at First National Bank of Fleetwood branches as part of the bank’s July Community Service. Until July 31,they will be collecting items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, beef jerky, DVDs and sunscreen.
Madison said they hope to get drawings and letters from other children in the area to show their support.
Hunter said it is important to show their support to the military.
“They fight for us. They don’t get to spend time with their family as much as we do so I think we should give them a thank you,” said Hunter.
“It makes me feel really happy” to be able to help, said Madison.
“I’m very proud of both Hunter and Madison,” said their mother, Jessica Dietrich. “Hunter is my king of empathy, he wears his heart on his shoulder.”
They talked about how hard it would be for their Dad not to be home.Jessica said they are blessed to have Hunter and Madison’s father home with them all year round.
“I think this experience is wonderful for the kids and for the Daczewitz family,” said Dietrich. “They really are the true heroes,” referring to the military personnel for their sacrifices for our country.
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.
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.