MISSOULA - Students from Valley Christian School in Missoula put their hands and hearts together to serve those who serve us during their Day of Service event.
“It's the contact back home knowing somebody is thinking of us,” said volunteer Ryan McMillion.
McMillion said stuffing boxes with the K-12 grade students of Valley Christian School is about more than paying it forward.
“You ever get a box like this when you were in?” MTN News asked McMillion. “Absolutely,” said McMillion.
“What did it do for you?” asked MTN News. "Made my morale go boom,” McMillion told MTN News.
He is a retired Navy veteran who knows what it is like to be overseas and receive one of these boxes with inspirational messages and goodies inside.
“When you're sitting off somewhere for months at a time, not talking to anybody other than just your shipmates, to have something like this come from a stranger or family or whatever, it is awesome,” said McMillion.
Army mechanic Kale Wanner says he came out to help stuff boxes because this project hits close to home.
“Actually have quite a few people that I know that are over there right now," Wanner said. "And with all these encouraging words and prayers and everything I would be overjoyed just to do that you know.”
The school prepared 100 boxes to send. Volunteers stuffed goodie bags, while students wrote inspirational messages.
The school puts an emphasis on service in the curriculum with some high schools spending the morning at other organizations, Valley Christian seniors Addie Glidewell and Asher Beaudin said it is days like today where service becomes gratitude.
“It's part of our mission statement and so we really prioritize that because love others as you love God,” said Addie Glidewell.
“We have someone else that we're serving. It goes beyond just serving other people and it goes beyond doing it for our own good,” Asher Beaudin told MTN News.
And for the younger students, they were just happy to be contributing.
“What is the best part about doing events like this one?” MTN News asked a group of second-grade students. “Coloring!” they said.