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IB Elementary Students Collect Valentine Gifts for Troops by Grade

Each Quail Run Elementary International Baccalaureate class will bring donated items and write Valentine cards to U.S. soldiers to express their gratitude. Sponsored by The Tiny Soldier and Operation Gratitude.


(January 23, 2010 – Peoria, AZ)  The Tiny Solider, creators of military and service-themed clothing for children, and nationwide custom embroidery and screen printing, announced it will sponsor a special Valentine care-package project in conjunction with Operation Gratitude and Quail Run Elementary School in Phoenix, one of Arizona’s first all-International-Baccalaureate schools. Each classroom will be assigned a different item from the Operation Gratitude wish list to include in care packages, along with handmade valentines.
“At The Tiny Soldier, we are dedicated to helping Operation Gratitude support our troops,” said the company’s president and Arizona’s official spokesperson for Operation Gratitude, Janell Mitchell. “In addition to donating a portion of all our business, we want to help others see how fun and satisfying it is to contribute. This Valentine program is one way we can do that. Thank you to Quail Run students and staff for helping us make a difference for troops and their families.” Quail Run principal Gerard Michels met Mitchell at an education conference last year, and approached her for ideas to get the school’s students involved in helping servicemen and servicewomen. At least one other school in the area is considering a similar event.
Mitchell said items to be collected for the drive include personal care items, healthy snacks, socks, hand and foot warmers, and travel-size games. The goods will be collected in each classroom and then packed into bags with Valentines at a packing party on February 17th. The Tiny Soldier is donating the bags and postage to get the bags to Operation Gratitude, a national foundation that sends 100,000 care packages to troops and their families annually. Quail Run Elementary and The Tiny Soldier hope to donate 100 packages through the program.
Quail Run student council members will wear camouflage shirts with a special event logo each Monday during the collection period to remind students of the need for donated items. The shirts were screen printed and donated by The Tiny Soldier.
“The PTSA and I believe this is a great way for children to both become involved in the community and learn about our service members,” said Quail Run principal, Michels. “We want to find ways to promote patriotism and stress its importance with the children, and this is one perfect way to do it.”
About The Tiny Soldier
To honor U.S. soldiers and other civil servants, The Tiny Solider produces infant clothing and children’s clothing with distinctive whimsical designs that make patriotism fun for everyone. The Tiny Solider also offers high-quality personalized gifts and custom-designed logo merchandise for companies, teams and other organizations. Five percent of all profits go to Operation Gratitude to support U.S. troops. For more information, visit, call Janell Mitchell at 623-825-5057, or e-mail
About Operation Gratitude
Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000 care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions, to their children left behind and to Wounded Warriors recuperating in Transition Units. Their mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member’s face and express to our Armed Forces the appreciation and support of the American people. Each package contains donated product valued at ~$125 and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship.  For safety and security, assembling of packages occurs at the Army National Guard armory in Van Nuys, California. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 750,000 packages to American Military members and their children. Read more at
About Quail Run Elementary School – International Baccalaureate
Quail Run Elementary School represents the best in education in Paradise Valley. We are one of the first schools in Arizona to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) program to all students. IB is a pedagogy of instruction that allows students to use their natural curiosity to explore, discover and learn. Students are given multiple opportunities to practice higher order thinking and develop deeper understanding of their learning experiences. Visit Quail Run at


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