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Mary Embry
The Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design

Last modified: Monday, November 19, 2007

Student group creates initiative to send holiday greetings to injured soldiers

Nov. 19 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), an Indiana University Bloomington student group advocating service-based learning, today (Nov. 19) announced an initiative to send holiday greetings to soldiers recovering from combat injuries at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and Brooke Medical Center in Houston.

As part of its Operation USA (University Student Ambassadors) project, SIFE student members will supply holiday cards on Dec. 3 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Indiana Memorial Union Hoosier Room that IU students, faculty and staff, as well as Bloomington-area residents, can complete with their greetings to injured soldiers. SIFE will then send the cards to soldiers at the two military hospitals.

"The holiday card event begins the Operation USA effort to increase on-campus recognition and appreciation of returning veterans," says Annie Cornett, SIFE member and Operation USA project leader.

In addition to Cornett, SIFE members Jessica Rizzo, Eric Nelson and Ani Palen established Operation USA during the fall semester to develop a nationwide network of college students who could serve as mentors and contacts for injured veterans interested in attending a college or university. This network creates one-on-one connections between student ambassadors from SIFE teams nationwide with veterans interested in attending either the academic institution represented by SIFE members, or one in close proximity.

Based on their research, the SIFE team noted many soldiers interested in attending college following their military service discharge did not see college as a viable option upon their high school graduation, but now recognize its educational benefits.

"Many of these veterans -- some of whom are first-generation college students -- need guidance as they plan their college career. As current students, SIFE members can serve as mentors and help guide them. By establishing a network of SIFE student mentors on campuses nationwide, we can share our experiences with these veterans and support them as they begin their college experiences," says Cornett.

SIFE is seeking holiday card donations from the local business community. Interested donors can contact Cornett at

SIFE at Indiana University Bloomington is a student group advocating service-based learning in the principles of free enterprise. The organization works on projects that improve financial literacy, business ethics, entrepreneurship, market economics and success skills locally and globally. The Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design (AMID) in the College of Arts and Sciences supports SIFE financially and with faculty advisers who facilitate student projects. Faculty guidance is led by Professor Mary Embry, a Sam Walton Fellow and faculty member in AMID's Retail Studies Program.