6th grader sends Twinkies to troops

June 5, 2009 (SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill.) This is the second year that 12-year-old Glennita Williams of South Holland is giving the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq a taste of home by shipping thousands of Twinkies to them. Last year the sixth grader went to her teacher with the idea of doing something for the troops after e-mailing her best friend's father in Iraq.

"I asked him what he wanted and he said Hostess products. I came up with the idea along with my teacher of Operation Twinkies," said Glennita Williams, McKinley School student.

"Glennita is a caring, loving child, always interest in helping someone else," said Cathy Gonnella, McKinley School teacher.

Glennita, her teacher and parents are gathering the Twinkies and boxing them. Starbucks has also come on board with giving them coffee with messages written on them for the troops. Some say thank you for your service, thank you for being our protectors, come home soon.

Glennita believes it is important to not forget the men and women serving our country.

"One person can make a difference," she said, "they just have to step up to the plate and do it, not just talk about it."

"It is important parents support kids in their ambitions and dreams, and get behind them to let them know they can make a difference," said Anita Williams, Glennita's mother.

Last year Mr. and Mrs. Williams, along with teacher Gonnella, paid for the shipping of the Twinkies. This year they hope to get some help with the cost of shipping out over 3,000 Twinkies.

Mr. Williams is a crew chief for American Airlines. Saturday they will all be at American Airlines collecting Twinkies from the employees.

"I am so proud of my daughter and of my company for being behind this project," said Darrain Williams, Glennita's father.

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