Operation Ramen Rallies Noodles for the Troops

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It takes an army of its own to care and feed for the over 200,000 service members who walk through the doors of USOHRCV’s 12 USO locations each year. For the last eight years, school-age children from various Richmond communities have answered the call.

Operation Ramen started when teacher Jeff Arco wanted his students to participate in a community project. With guidance from USO Richmond Airport Center Director Tricia Riggs, his formula for collecting noodles for service members became an instant success.

“The noodles are a tremendous help in stretching our budget and operations,” says Karen Licari, Chief Operating Officer of USOHRCV.

Over 27,000 packages were collected and delivered to USO centers from various Richmond area schools including Stonewall Jackson Middle, Laurel Meadow Elementary, and Oak Knoll Middle. A number of community organizations and small businesses also participated including Codeblue Technology, Kentwood Baptist Church and VFW Post 9808.

The items collected were sorted and delivered thanks to assistance from USO Richmond Airport volunteer George Cain, and a team of 11 members of Bank of America’s Military Support committee/ Since the project began in 2010, more than 117,000 packages of noodles have been donated to service members.

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