Students from Cherokee Bend and Brookwood Forest Elementary schools understand the importance of rendering service and giving back to those who have given their all to keep us safe.

These elementary grade students didn’t allow the pandemic to keep them from serving and participating with the third annual Wrapping for America’s Warriors. As a matter of fact, the project actually grew. This is Cherokee’s first year participating. In the past, fifth grade students from Brookwood went to the VA Clinic after school and wrapped donated gifts from outside agencies.

This year, the sixth-grade students hosted a donation drive and asked students to bring in toboggans, scarves, gloves, and of course in the year of 2020… cloth masks.

Elementary students participated in the third annual Wrapping for America’s Warriors. They wrapped donated gifts for every inpatient at the Birmingham VA Medical Center and several transition homes.

Wrapped more than enough presents

With teacher guidance, the fifth-grade students from both schools gift wrapped the items using a specific theme decided on and purchased by them.

Both schools wrapped enough items to provide every inpatient at the Birmingham VA Medical Center a present for the holidays. They collected and wrapped more than enough so that Veterans in several transition homes will be provided with gifts as well.

Important for our students to serve Veterans

Sisters Charmel Taylor, chief of Voluntary Service at Birmingham VA, and Carla Dudley, assistant principal at Cherokee Bend Elementary, both say this project is special to them because it allows their work paths to cross.

More importantly, it provides an opportunity for children to connect with Veterans outside of Veterans Day.

“We believe it is important for students to serve our Veterans… our nation’s real heroes… the ones who freely served our country in order for us to experience the freedoms that come along with being an American,” said Carla.


Derrick Smith is a public affairs specialist at the Birmingham VA Health Care System.

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