An Indiana University of Pennsylvania student organized the first “Cards for Troops” initiative at IUP for members of the United States armed services who are overseas.

Samuel Dunning, a criminology major from Duncansville, spearheaded the initiative through his military service fraternity, Rho Tau Chi. The group also partnered with IUP's Latino fraternity Lambda Sigma Upsilon.

Cards for Troops Organized by IUP StudentNearly 2,000 cards have been donated and filled out. Dunning has been working with the IUP Military Resource Center to identify specific units to mail the cards. The cards will be mailed to all branches of the military.

Dunning said that last year's “Cards for Kids” program, coordinated by the IUP Office of Service Learning, inspired this year's “Cards for Troops” initiative.

Dunning worked with IUP staff member Diana Stipcak in the Office of Service Learning on the “Card for Kids” project. “Diane was great. She not only provided a center for the card collections to come to, but she also shared advice and helped us get organized,” Dunning said.

Dunning and fellow members of Rho Tau Chi asked IUP student organizations for card donations and have been manning a table at the university's Hadley Union Building for two weeks asking students to write positive messages to troops.

“As a member of the military myself, it's really uplifting to see how many people care enough about our troops to stop and take the time to write them a note,” Dunning said.

Dunning, the son of Ed and Sherri Dunning, is a 2012 graduate of Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School. In addition to membership in Rho Tau Chi military service fraternity, he is a member of IUP ROTC, Catholic Student Association and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.