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Projects by Capo’s National Honor Society benefiting veterans, military personnel

alain klaes kathryn heinemeier ryan roth

Military personnel and veterans are reaping the fruits of some teens’ labor to provide them with survival bracelets and letters of support.

Capistrano Valley High School senior Alaina Klaes and classmate Han Nguyen were looking for pandemic-safe volunteer opportunities for the school’s National Honor Society, so Alaina contacted Mission Viejo Library staff to see how the group could give back. 

With the library in the midst of a 5-year “Veterans Connect @ the Library” grant program, staff provided the teens with project ideas, guidance and a healthy donation of paracord supplies.

Led by Operation Gratitude, the first project called for writing letters to veterans. The nonprofit organization sends more than 250,000 care packages each year to deployed troops, veterans, new recruits and first responders. The most cherished items in the care packages are the personal letters of appreciation.  The students penned thoughtful letters expressing their gratitude for the veterans’ selfless service to our country. Some letters included beautiful drawings. Others spoke about what life is like for the teens during the pandemic. 

The second project entailed making paracord “survival” bracelets for Operation Gratitude’s care packages to our veterans. Military personnel use the paracord, which gets its name from parachute cord and can hold up to 550 pounds of weight.  The bracelet provides 7.5 feet of cord in an emergency and can be used to build a makeshift shelter, sling or splint for sutures to close a wound.

Alaina and fellow board members Kathryn Heinemeier and Ryan Roth delivered the letters and paracords on behalf of their club.  The library is grateful to the National Honor Society members for their amazing efforts to enhance the lives of others.

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