Groups join forces to make the holidays brighter for soldiers in Afghanistan

Santa for Soldiers project continues through Veterans Day, Nov. 11, at Penn State York
York Santa for SOldiers 2017

Santa's elves, Michelle Cruz, president of the Penn State York Blue and White Society, left, and Kerry Almeida, vice president, don their blue and white hats to check out the donations for the Santa for Soldiers project. Items will be sent to soldiers in the U.S. Army National Guard stationed in Afghanistan. The collection continues through Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

Credit: Barbara Dennis

YORK, Pa. — Penn State York’s Blue and White Society has once again joined forces with the Penn State York Alumni Society, the Consolidated School for Business Community Service Club, and Mt. Rose Barberama for "Santa for Solders." The groups are working together to collect items, now through Wednesday, Nov. 11, for U.S. Army National Guard soldiers stationed in Afghanistan.  

“This project is a partnership with our Penn State York Alumni Society group and was brought to our campus as a community service effort that could get even more Penn Staters involved in sending some holiday cheer to our soldiers overseas,” said Iona Conlon, Blue and White Society adviser and an alumni and development specialist at Penn State York. “The Blue and White Society is the student extension of the Penn State Alumni Association.” 

Conlon noted that many Penn State York students, faculty and staff members have friends and families in the service, and Santa for Solders is just one small way they can get involved and help the troops.

Letters, cards and items from toothpaste to playing cards to cheese crackers, are being collected now through Nov. 11. For a list of items appropriate for donation, visit the Penn State York Alumni Society website at For more information, contact Conlon at 717-718-6781 or email [email protected], or contact Joyce Turner, Santa for Solders program coordinator and  Penn State York Alumni Society board member, at 717-843-3291 or email [email protected].  

Collection boxes at Penn State York are located in the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center (The Pullo Center) near the box office, and The Bradley Building, 1118 South Albemarle St., on campus. Donation boxes also are located at the Consolidated School of Business in York and at Mt. Rose Barberama, located at 1160 Mt. Rose Ave., in York.  

Monetary gifts also will be accepted to help defray the cost of postage. Those who want to make monetary donations should visit and click on the donate button to use PayPal to donate postage funds to Santa for Solders 2017.