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Army of Kids Craft for a Cause

3:33 PM, Jul 23, 2011   |    comments
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Children who live on Rachelle Drive in Cheektowaga have been spending the summer making crafts for servicemen and women.

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y.- From afar the scene on Rachelle Drive in Cheektowaga looks like a typical summer camp. The kids wear matching T-shirts, paint sometimes gets splattered in the wrong spot, and the kids are smiling and laughing.

But as it turns out, this isn't a summer camp at all.

In honor of the men and women fighting over seas, Pam DiSalvo has rallied some troops of her own. Joining the rank and file: About thirty kids from her street.

"You try to make the birdhouses look nice for the soldiers and kind of let them know that you appreciate what they do for you," said 10-year-old Emily Staniszewski.

The group has spent the summer making more than a hundred of those birdhouses, as well as wooden gates for members of the military

"A symbol of welcome home," DiSalvo explains, "You know, a little house, with a card that says, glad you're home." A mother of two active-duty servicemembers herself, DiSalvo is doing her part to make sure members of the military feel appreciated.

Eleven-year-old Breanna Murphy writes poems for the soldiers, with a message.

"How I appreciate them, how I always think about them, and that they're doing a really good thing for our country," said Murphy.

In August, a local organization, Jammies for GIs, will take the the boxes of crafts and letters to Bethesda, Maryland where they'll be distributed to wounded troops.

"To see kids that are dedicated to spend the time, to help the soldiers, it means a lot," Cheryl Lepsch, founder of Jammies for GIs "Especially as a mother of somebody who was in the hospital and received a quilt from a quilters club in Pennsylvania, it really means a lot."

The kids' commander is just as dedicated as her army. Not only does she act as craft coordinator, DiSalvo buys all the supplies and keeps them all in her house; and she's happy to do it.

"They're awesome, these kids are awesome kids, they still have that innocence of a child, you know, it's great to see," said DiSalvo.

Birdhouses that aren't donated will be sold at a yard sale at 52 Rochelle Drive August 6th and 7th.

The money they make will help pay for the gas for the trip to Bethesda.

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