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Shirley Potsch (left) and Stephanie Ames with Boxes

December 17, 2009

SIU Med Students Organize Donation for Marines in Afghanistan

Medical students at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield organized a holiday collection and shipped a large donation of items for U.S. Marines stationed in Afghanistan.

Thirty-eight boxes have been sent to the Marines of the 2nd combat engineering battalion in Afghanistan.  The battalion is an expeditionary force that is helping filter traffic moving north into the country.  The first shipment is expected to arrive by Christmas Day and the last shipment should arrive by New Year’s Day.  The shipping costs were covered by donations.

The collection was organized by the Class of 2012 at SIU, led by Shirley Potsch from Naperville and Stefanie Ames from Peoria.  Potsch’s husband is serving in Afghanistan and told his wife about the group, which appeared to need a little more support from home.

The large boxes of non-perishable items included granola bars, oat meal and ramen noodles packets and multiple boxes of hand warmers, warm hats and other food.  The items were donated by the SIU community during a three-week drive.  The medical students used posters, all-School emails and word-of-mouth to get the word out about the effort.

SIU School of Medicine is a public medical school established in 1970 and focused on the health care needs of downstate Illinois.  Its Web site is and the main phone number is 217-545-8000.

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