By Heather Collins
A holiday tree adorned in red, white and blue will be displayed at the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library to honor active military personnel, veterans and deceased service members.
The Our Heroes’ Tree went up Nov. 1 in the youth department. The community is invited to decorate ornaments honoring a service member to be displayed on the tree. Materials are provided or community members can create their own ornament at home.
Youth Dept. Head Jamie Schlenk discovered the program in 2009 and brought the tradition to the library. The program was started by the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University and is a tradition in libraries across the nation.
“The point of the Our Heroes’ Tree is for the community to recognize the significance of the services of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who have served our nation in times of peace and war,” Schlenk said.
Next to the Our Heroes’ Tree will be a Hope for Heroes collection box. Schlenk said the programs go hand-in-hand. The Hope for Heroes Collection Box is a Sigma Alpha, Eta Pi Chapter project. Donations are distributed to veterans through the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation, a nonprofit organized by the United Way dedicated to ending homelessness for veterans and their families through prevention, education, supportive services and advocacy.
The list of needed items for the Hope for Heroes collection box include new men’s winter wear including jeans, boxer shorts, socks (white and black crew), work gloves, heavy gloves, athletic shoes (sizes 10-13) and hats. Personal items needed include toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, shaving supplies and travel lotion.
Donations for Hope for Heroes can be made at the library Nov. 11 to Dec. 16.
For information, visit zionsvillelibrary.org. For information on the Hope for Heroes Project, visit facebook.com/ESAKappaTheta.