Stopped by T-Bonetooters in Churchville the other day and had the opportunity to talk with one of the owners, Dianne, who was instrumental in organizing and providing the logistics of sending packages to local troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both Dianne and her husband Benny were responsible for sending hundreds of packages stuffed full of items needed and wanted by troops serving our country.
I had the opportunity on several occasions to work with Dianne and her crew on this project and their dedication and efforts were always very impressive. Information and photos can be found at the “From Our Hearts” site. Unfortunately due to economic and other conditions this program has been suspended at this time. As I talked with Dianne she told me that she continues to get calls from local organizations looking to donate or get information on continuing support of the troops in this manner.
There are numerous sites out there that are still providing links and services that will send packages to Troops still serving in foreign countries. They can be found at here, here, and here.
In my discussion with Dianne I found that many local people as well as organizations wish to show their support to local citizens who are serving in the military. Many supporters turned out last month for the return of the 116th National Guard unit in Staunton and this was appreciated by the troops but we must not forget those who are still serving their tours.
Like many,I have also continued to support other “National” organizations that provide packages to the troops but like people described above by Dianne, I enjoy knowing that my efforts are going towards someone local that I know personally or know of their families. It is easy to assemble and send small packages of items requested by the troops and will describe the procedure here for anybody wishing to send their own package from home…
There are many items that could be sent to the troops but I have found some to be requested more then others. Overwhelmingly many troops have requested candy or small toys to give out to the children that they encounter during their tours. Following are some of the items that I have seen requested often:
“Priority Mail” boxes can be obtained at local Post offices and will be delivered at a flat rate of $8.95 no matter what the weight is. These boxes can hold many items if packed carefully. Snacks are much preferred and candy is always welcomed to be passed on to the children in the communities they are serving in.
Small travel size sundries are also requested often and help make time in the field more comfortable for the troops. I have found that including a local newspaper with the package is always welcomed in providing local information to the serviceperson receiving the package.
It is not hard to find a local Service member and contacting the local National Guard office will provide leads to local citizens now serving in country. Many people know of families with members serving and welcome the effort and packages sent. We must not forget the troops still serving no matter what the “Situation” is back here at home while they continue to serve in country. Photos and flag waving is always welcomed but lets not forget when and where the “Rubber hit’s the Road”…