Softball Supporting Wounded Warrior Project

Feb. 26, 2013

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa softball team is sponsoring a collection drive for household items and snacks to give America’s Wounded Warriors and their families at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The Hawkeyes will compete in the Miken Invitational, hosted by the University of Maryland, March 9-10, in College Park, Md. The team will distribute the items on March 9 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is a facility providing care to Wounded Warriors returning home from war with amputations and other severe injuries. The Iowa softball team has planned a visit for March 9 to meet with some of these American Heroes and provide them with donated household items and snacks that have been collected throughout the community.

“The men and women who we will be visiting have made the ultimate sacrifice,” said freshman Krystal Shirrell. “Due to their decision to fight for our safety and freedom, they have returned home with amputations and other severe injuries and have had to make major adaptations to their daily lives.

“Through small acts of kindness such as donating items, you can give back to these American Heroes. You can help make a difference in their lives by bringing a smile to their face and brighten their day. Every little thing helps and makes their strides towards recovery that much easier.”

The softball team is asking for help to make the visit to the facility successful. Items can be dropped off at any of the Iowa City area Hy-Vee locations listed below or to N300 at Carver Hawkeye Arena from now through Wednesday, March 6.

? 1201 N. Dodge, Iowa City
? 1720 Waterfront Dr., Iowa City
? 812 S. First Ave., Iowa City
? 1914 8th St., Coralville

Specific items needed include:

? Ziploc Baggies (sandwich, quart, gallon) and Food Plastic Storage Containers
? Paper Towels, Toilet Paper and Napkins
? Disinfecting Wipes/Clorox Wipes and Febreze Spray/Air Freshener
? Dryer Sheets and Laundry Detergent
? Kitchen Sponges, Dish Soap and Dishwasher Soap/Detergent
? Rubbermaid 18 gallon totes/Sterilite 50 quart totes with lids
? DVD’s and iTune Gift Cards
? Snacks – Pringles, Doritos, Chex Mix, Pretzels, Chips, Cheetos, Fritos, etc.
? Candy – M&M’s, Skittles, Snickers, Milky Way, Hershey’s, etc.
? Nuts, Granola Bars, PopTarts, Microwave Popcorn, Trail Mix
? Cookies – Oreo, Chocolate Chip, etc.
? Pepperidge Farm Goldfish and Little Debbie Snacks

The time spent at Walter Reed for amputees often exceeds one year, with many being there for two years or more depending on the injury. Often times a family member will join the soldier during the rehabilitation process and together they live in a small apartment at the facility. All items collected will help support these Wounded Warriors and their families as they try to piece back their lives and learn to live with the assistance of prosthetics and wheel chairs.

“Take a step back and imagine learning how to sit up in bed, how to open a straw wrapper, how to walk,” said Shirrell. “These are the daily activities of the men and women at Walter Reed. They are working to find ways to `Adapt and Overcome’ and get their lives back to some level of normalcy.

“What you might think of as just a small donation can make a world of difference in the lives of these American Heroes. In my experiences, it means the world to these soldiers and their families to know people are thinking of them and doing what they can to help out. These men and women put their lives on the line for our safety and freedom. It is important we make it known that they are not forgotten.”

Consider these statistics: as of Oct. 4, 2012, during the Iraq/Afghanistan military operations, over 51,000 troops had been wounded and 1,455 soldiers had at least one limb amputation. Five young men have lost part of all four limbs. See the amazing and inspirational story of Iowa native Taylor Morris “Unstoppable: A Quad Amputee Story”.

Taylor Morris is currently recovering at Walter Reed and all items collected will help support him and hundreds of other Wounded Warriors and their families as they try to piece back their lives and learn to adapt and live with a new normal.