"Emily won't see her father for the holidays this year, but her Christmas present is knowing he is safe and back in the states. For soldiers who aren't that lucky, Emily and her classmates at Patrick Henry Elementary School collected items to send to Iraq for the Blue Star Mothers' Operation Christmas for the Troops.
Emily's grandmother, Kelly Oakes, a Blue Star Mother who is caring for Emily while the girl's father is away, initiated the drive at the school. After a kickoff assembly Nov. 30, students and parents began collecting items to pack in 'freedom boxes' that are then mailed to Iraq."
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