Rockland teen continues holiday tradition of shipping care packages to soldiers overseas

The West Nyack teen was inspired to start this project by his sister Sam, who was stationed overseas in a battalion in northern Italy. She and many of her fellow troops were unable to make it home for the holidays, so Rolnick wanted to send some cheer to them.

Jonathan Gordon

Nov 29, 2023, 11:52 PM

Updated 234 days ago

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One Rockland teen's commitment to raising money to ship care packages for U.S. soldiers overseas has become a holiday tradition.
This is Trey Rolnick's fourth year running Operation Santa: Sam's Soldiers.
The 16-year-old, with the support of his parents, friends and generous community donors, has raised around $125,000 and sent packages to more than 1,500 troops since 2020.
The West Nyack teen was inspired to start this project by his sister Sam, who was stationed overseas in a battalion in northern Italy. She and many of her fellow troops were unable to make it home for the holidays, so Rolnick wanted to send some cheer to them.
On Wednesday, Rolnick and a few of his high school friends packaged up items like non-perishable snacks, travel mugs, and warm clothes to make the holidays away from family a little easier.
Black Rifle Coffee, a veteran-owned company, sent 160 pounds of coffee directly to troops stationed in Europe.
"Items that we would kind of think of as everyday items but that these soldiers would really appreciate, and it could help them a lot over there overseas," said Trey Rolnick, Operation Santa: Sam's Soldiers organizer.
So far, Rolnick has raised more than $10,000 this year which is halfway to his goal, but he is still collecting donations to help send even more necessary items before the holidays begin.


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