MERIDIAN -- It's something that may not be top of mind, but thousands of American troops are still serving overseas and they'll be spending Christmas away from their families.

Now a Meridian school is sending one unit some warm wishes just in time for the holiday.

4th graders at Chaparral Elementary are busy little elves, putting together Christmas care packages for our troops.

The care packages include board games, candy, snacks, and personalized letters thanking troops for their sacrifices.

They are giving us a present, that's freedom, and they deserve a present back, said 4th grader Alyssa Dibble.

It all started when teacher Jodi Bryant got a request.

A friend of mine contacted me and asked me if we'd be willing to make Christmas cards for a unit in Washington, said Bryant. They (the kids) were very excited about it, they decided they needed more than just Christmas cards.

The students decided to go all out, writing letters and cards, and making homemade board games.

They also read a book to the troops, called You Are Special. A DVD is tucked inside each care package.

The best part is the kids have seen pictures of the unit they are sending these care packages to.

I think it's good for them to give back and they get pictures and become real people to these kids, said Bryant.

The packages were sent off this week, so they'll arrive just in time for Christmas.

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