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UW-Oshkosh students send donations to USS Fitzgerald

Sending Donations to USS Fitzgerald Crew on July 12, 2017 (WLUK/Mike Moon)

OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- Seven Navy crew members were killed last month, when the destroyer collided with a large container ship off the coast of Japan.

Now the ship and crew have been dry docked and Wednesday a group from U-W-Oshkosh sent boxes of donations to those sailors.

The hope is that simple items from books to snacks will help crew members through this tragedy.

Boxes, upon boxes of donated items filled up the Veterans Resource Center at UW-Oshkosh Wednesday.

"This is amazing! This says a lot about who our students are," said Timber Smith, the school's veterans resource coordinator.

The donations were gathered by the junior class in the social work department. They did so for veterans in need with guidance from the Student Veterans Association.

"And presented the idea and, of course, we loved it. Then they went to work," explained Smith.

"The only thing we ever really struggled with was who to send it to," added Aaron Kloss the president of the Student Veterans Association on campus.

Then, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship.

"And we had two rooms of donations and we said, 'you know what? This is a perfect opportunity," said Kloss.

"They're going through a transition and if we can be of a little bit of help, it means the world," added Smith.

Two cars took the donations down to Milwaukee where the donations will be shipped out to the crew of the USS Fitzgerald.

"From personal hygiene items to snacks, to clothing, these are all things they need to replace what was lost," Kloss explained.

The donations may be small, every day items, but these veterans say they can have a very big impact to that crew.

"These are the things that will get you through those tough times and get you home again," Kloss told FOX 11 News.

"Sometimes it changes a breaking point from a making point," Smith told us, and this gesture is one step toward making that difference.

The mother of an officer on-board the Fitzgerald coordinated shipping the donations to the crew.

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