MAUREPAS -- Next month, hundreds of troops deployed overseas will receive a plethora of Valentine’s Day goodies.

And they’ll have the students and faculty at Maurepas to thank.

The Maurepas School will be sending Valentine’s Day cards and snack items to servicemen and servicewomen across the globe this month, thanks to a classroom project that eventually took over the entire campus.

The project was spearheaded by Ashley Hatcher, the school’s life skills facilitator who asked her students to take part in the Baton Rouge Soldier Outreach Program’s “Valentine’s Day Initiative.”

The mission of the Baton Rouge Soldier Outreach Program “is to provide comfort items from home to our deployed men and women around the globe,” according to the non-profit organization’s website.

The group sends packages four times a year to troops all over the world — with the next shipment scheduled to go out Feb. 1 — and sent out word that it was in need of more supplies.

With that in mind, Hatcher went to her students.

In a Facebook post, Hatcher said she explained to her students that deployed troops “do not have the luxury of waking up to a homemade colorful valentine card, a piece of chocolate or a tight hug from their children.”

After her students got started, Hatcher then asked if the entire school would be interested in the project.

It was unanimous — everyone wanted to send their love to troops this Valentine’s Day, and Hatcher said she “could not be more proud of our faculty, staff, and students.” Attached to the post were pictures of students holding their handmade cards while standing in a heart formation in the school’s gym.

“We collected over 300 Valentine’s school and community wide and over 200 snack items,” Hatcher wrote in her Facebook post. “Thank you [Maurepas School] for approving this initiative, thank you students for the sweet sayings and valentines, thank you parents and club/scout sponsors for teaching these children to [give] their hearts.”

The care package was dropped off in Baton Rouge, where organizers were happily stunned to see such a large donation “from such a small school,” Hatcher said.

“We are MAUREPAS PROUD,” she wrote on Facebook.

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