Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hey, Iraq on line two...

Iraq call...

Phone call from Baghdad, Iraq
Our heros call to thank From Our Hearts for care packages
Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What a wonderful surprise! Benny Rankin, owner of T-Bone Tooter's Restaurant in Churchville, received a phone call today from Augusta County resident Mike Flook who is stationed in Baghdad.

His group of men, firefighters in Iraq, had received the first shipment of boxes from Hearts and they were very grateful! Mike said he was so overwhelmed he had to call personally and thank everyone for what they're doing for them. He was so very, very touched that people back home hadn't forgotten about them and that people really cared.

He said his men had been down-in-the-dumps recently ... but the arrival of packages from home had boosted their morale and had them laughing and singing and checking out all the goodies -- "Look what's in this one!" -- and they felt appreciated.

There are 10 more men in that Unit so we are upping their shipment from 10 to 20 which will make our total shipments weekly at 160 care packages.

Want to help?
All the work that goes into setting up, packing, and mailing packages weekly is worth it when something happens like that one phone call ... or a letter of thanks ... or a photo of "our guys" over there. But it's only through help from the community that we're able to continue with this program.

What do we need? We need more items from the soldiers' Wish List (see and donations to pay for shipping.

Items can be dropped off at CellOne in Statler Square Shopping Center
in Staunton, at Staunton Colonial Mall's Customer Service Desk, and at T-Bone Tooter's Restaurant in Churchville.

Donations can be mailed to: From Our Hearts, T-Bone Tooter's Restaurant, P.O. Box 504, Churchville, VA 24421.

Questions? Respond to this email or call T-Bone Tooter's at 337-6500.

Troop Wish List... AT&T Phone Cards, Air Fresheners (No Aerosol Cans), Baby Wipes / Wet Wipes, Band-Aids, Bandanna, Batteries, Beef Jerky, Book LightsBooks \ Brown Washcloth & Towels, Candy (No Chocolate), Canned Chicken, CD's & DVD's, Chapstick, Cheese (That can stand heat), Chips, Cookies, Crackers, Deoderant (Travel Size), Desitine, Disposable Cameras, Duct Tape, Electrical Tape, Eye Drops, Fans (Hand-held), First Aid Kits, foot Powder, Hankerchief, Lotion (Travel Size), Microwave Meals (Hormel), Neosporin, Off (Bug Repellant), Paper \ Envelopes \ Pens, Peanuts, Potted Meat, Powered Drink Mix, Ramen Noodles, Sewing Kits (Travel size), Shampoo (Travel size), Shop Towels, Slim Jims, Soap (Travel size), Soap Holders, Socks (White over the calf), Soup (Pop top, heat & serve), Stridex Pads, Sunflower Seeds, Toothbrush and holders, Toothpaste (Travel Size), Tuna, Twin Sheets / Bed pillows, Zip Ties, Ziplock bags (Qt & Gallon size), * Things not to send.... Pork Products, Chocolate, Aerosol Cans... Donations always welcomed for it allows us to purchase those items needed to make complete "Packages"....


Dennis Neal said...

Man, "Care Packages" have sure gotten better since I got out in '94 is all I can say!
Just a word of encouragement to all who read this to give generously of even one item if you have it. Also, since we're always "upgrading" our cell phones, check around for those older ones; I wasn't aware of it, but there's a program that supplies troops with refurbished cell phones so they can call home. I donated three of my old Nokias and hope they're in use somewhere (I also wish they'd had those -- and e-mail -- back when I was in ... when you went out you went OUT!)Since I'm still on the DoD link list for presrels (sorry, press releases), here's a good link to where you can participate:

RightsideVA said...

Good point Dennis and I went searching for the old cell phone and somehow found it on the first attempt...

Several recruiters and military personnel that I have talked to say the packages from home do make their days. "From Our Hearts" program includes notes and photos of local people from the valley showing their support to the troops in different ways. The program continues to "Snowball" and volunteers come out to help in any way.

I believe many look forward to the personal touch it provides more then just writing a check. After Katrina and other disasters I think many are tired of seeing the money they donated abused by the organizations and people receiving the aid. This gives them a way to become active and see the direct results from their donations...

SWAC Girl said...

It gives those of us working with From Our Hearts a connection with our local military members who are in Iraq, which is a nice feeling. We know these guys and we know their families who are here at home.

In fact, some of those family members are a part of our group including one 14-year-old young lady who is helping pack boxes for her dad and his men stationed in Baghdad. Her mom is right there helping, too. has updates about the program.

jennifer said...

Hi I'm trying to connect with Mike Flook from Richmond, VA. If the Mike Flook in the blog is the same...JR Tucker Grad of 1987, please contact me w/ his info at 804-310-5373. Thanks.