Editor's Note: Everyone can assist the Eureka High School Soccer team with their first-ever beef jerky drive for overseas U.S. soldiers. I am donating beef jerky purchased to take the photo that accompanies this photo, for example. Collection boxes are available at Eureka High, or fans can donate jerky at the home varsity soccer game versus DeSmet on Sept. 11.
Varsity Soccer coach Gary Schneider said this is the first year soccer players are hosting a beef jerky donation drive for American soldiers, and are learning from it to increase the drive next year.
"This (concept) started a couple of years ago while I was at a wedding reception talking to my old college friends," said Schneider. "My friend just got back from Iraq and I was asking him a ton of questions about what it was like, about the weather and typical days, and then finally I asked him: What do you guys need?"
"What can we do here to help you guys out?" I asked.
Without even thinking, Schneider said he answered: "Beef Jerky."
Schneider's friend explained jerky is a great snack that tastes really good, and is very easy to throw it in a backpack and then go on patrol.
"I told him we’d do something to get this organized," said Schneider.
Schneider said he has another good friend in Afghanistan who is serving the United States now, and the soccer team will be sending beef jerky to him, as well as other people related to Eureka High.
in Eureka pledged to help pay for some of the shipping of the donated jerky, said Schneider. "I have a feeling that shipping will be expensive. I sent a few boxes of Girl Scout cookies this past year, and it really added up."
Eureka Soccer senior players made signs to help advertise the drive at school. A junior soccer player, Mitch Chambliss, this summer made signs to distribute through his neighborhood and started to collect during this summer, said Schneider. "We used his idea and made paper fliers for the players to distribute through their neighborhoods."
He said underclassmen collected jerky donations at Thursday's football game versus Christian Brothers College.
The beef jerky drive will end on Sept. 11 at the home varsity soccer game versus DeSmet, where the last of the beef jerky donations will be collected.