Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Press Release
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Hugs and hellos for heroes


January 17, 2019

Chas Balut

The Willow River Early Childhood Program recently held their 5th Annual "Hugs and Hellos for Heroes" event. Mrs. Chas Balut, the Early Childhood Coordinator explained that this is the 5th year that the program has accepted items to be delivered to the service men and women deployed and serving our country. Items include prepackaged food and snacks, soaps, toothpastes, crossword puzzle books, coloring, books, etc. The goals of this event are: To share with children the importance of giving, sharing, and caring; To increase literacy skills by drawing, pre-writing, and writing; To teach and reinforce the concepts of "Be kind" and "Be thankful," and; To express gratitude to those who serve. This year the WRAS Early Childhood Program was able to collect and mail 8 large boxes of prepackaged food items, hygiene items, and puzzle books to two different deployed units. Each unit had ties with out local community. Children from all grades were invited to write letters and draw pictures thanking the men and women for their service. Each of the early childhood letters started with "Thank you hero for..." the early childhood staff wrote the children's words; some were heartfelt thank you messages, others were simply the early childhood kiddo's information about themselves and what they enjoy doing. The Sandstone Area Veteran's Memorial made a generous cash donation to assist with the shipping cost of our packages, as did some local families. Without donations like this, our shipments would not be possible. Overall, this is an amazing opportunity for the community to come together, send "Hugs and Hellos for Heroes," and thank those that serve our country. For more information about this event or any of our early childhood programs you can contact Mrs. Chas Balut- Early Childhood Program Coordinator 372-3131 x 169 or


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