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Jayme Bieker's students, Kennedy, Maddie and Kayleigh, show off cards they created to send to soldiers overseas.

Fremont’s branch of the First National Bank is gearing up to send cookies and Christmas cards to military members currently serving overseas.

First National Bank reached out to various schools in the area to invite teachers to have their classes make Christmas cards. The cookies and cards will go to military members nominated by members of the community here, through what’s called the Cookies From Home Program.

On Jan. 3, the bank is hosting an event to assemble the packages that will ultimately be shipped out, said Cindy Wragge, director of retail banking at First National Bank. That will take place at the main Fremont branch at 152 east 6th Street.

The nomination period is wrapping up, with the final deadline set for Dec. 9, but until then, nominations can be made at www.fnbo.com/cookiesfromhome.

“A service member who’s nominated could receive cookies, packaged up from us, as well as those notes and cards from the children and some candy too,” Wragge said. “Just a really nice care package.”

The bank has collected roughly 75 to 100 cards from kids so far, said Becky Lowrie, an administrative professional at First National Bank.

“As the holidays approach we especially think about those who are overseas and away from their families and friends, and this is just a good way to show our support and appreciation for their service and their patriotism,” Wragge added.

At Fremont Middle School, social studies teacher Jayme Bieker has gotten her seventh grade students in team 7B involved, making roughly 100 cards that will ultimately be collected for the project.

Cards included pop-out designs, with Christmas trees or snowmen, with one student who had a green and red checkerboard that popped out to spell the words “Thank you.” Bieker also had her students include personal stories about what was going on their lives to give “some normalcy going on since they’re overseas.”

“I always tell my students that we live in a little bubble here in Fremont. And there’s a whole world outside of Fremont Nebraska that they don’t necessarily get to see. As a social studies teacher, I like to think that I can bring the world to them a little bit by teaching them all about these different things,” Bieker said.

“And I just think it’s neat and humbling for these students to be able to do something a little bit bigger than Fremont, Nebraska.”

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