Hope for Heroes: brings ornaments

Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library staff Laura Gangstad (left) and Jenni Russ, ESA member and Hope for Heroes chair. (Submitted photo.)

Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library staff Laura Gangstad (left) and Jenni Russ, ESA member and Hope for Heroes chair. (Submitted photo.)

By Carla Howie

Since the inception of Hope for Heroes in 2005, the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial public library has placed an “Our Heroes’ Tree” in the library for anyone in community who wishes to recognize a person serving or who has served in our military by hanging an ornament in their honor.

“It is interesting to see all the different ornaments that people bring, honoring their loved ones.  They are each a personal creation to remember a loved one’s service to the county. Libraries were chosen as a display site because they are often the education and social center of a community,”said Jaime Schlenk, head of the youth services department.

The tree stands in the library from November to the end of December for those wishing to bring in an ornament, but also serves as a reminder that even heroes need help.

“For the past four years, we have combined the Heroes’ Tree with another project sponsored by the Epsilon Sigma Alpha Kappa Theta Chapter of Zionsville, Hope for Heroes. The library has a donation box available to collect winter wear such as coats, gloves and hats, and personal care items for homeless veterans,” Schlenk said.

The Kappa Theta Zionsville chapter is a volunteer group dedicated to improving the communities in which they live.

“It’s been exciting to see this project grow; the community has taken ownership for its success,” said Jenni Russ, project coordinator for Kappa Theta.

All of the donations are placed with the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation. According to Schlenk, last year the reception was so overwhelming that volunteers from the foundation came to the library weekly to collect the donations.

For more information contact Hussey Mayfield Memorial Library: www.zionsville.lib.in.us or call 873-3149.

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