Individuals and groups looking for holiday caring and sharing projects can help brighten the lives of overseas troops by contributing to a care package project initiated by the Lone Star Military Resource Group.
However, said coordinator Julianne Sanford, the packages must be at the post office no later than Dec. 10 so that military personnel will receive them in time for Christmas.
“People can bring items to the ACCESS business/administrative office (913 N. Jackson, Jacksonville) during regular business hours,” she said, adding offices are closed for lunch hour at noon, Monday through Friday. “Or you can contact me and I can meet up with you.”
Packages will be sent to two overseas military contacts, who will distribute them to others, “but if someone wants to add a name, please let us know, because we'd like to provide packages to other military members of the community” serving abroad, Sanford said. “It's a great way to show our appreciation to service members, especially during the holiday season.”
Suggested items include: Hometown news or items like shirts bearing the name of the city; hand-written letters and artwork and correspondence from children.
Requested food items include: Protein bars; jerky; coffee; pre-sweetened powdered drinks, including cocoa and hot cider packets; canned or dried fruit and fruit snacks; canned soups, stews, ravioli; dried soups like Cup-A-Soup and Ramen noodles; nuts and trail mixes; pre-packaged cookies and snack crackers; instant oatmeal and boxed cereals; microwave popcorn and mac & cheese; canned tuna and chicken; and peanut butter and jellies (in sealed, unopened plastic containers).
Among suggested non-food items include plastic storage bag of various sizes (snack, quart, sandwich, gallon); batteries; cigars and chew; multi-vitamins and acetaminophen; foot powder and anti-fungal creams.
Special items requested by troops: Small personal or desk fans; hand and foot warmers; hot plates; small coffee grinder; twin sheet sets; pillow cases; travel-size pillows; cool scarves; jogging pants; Cool Max T-shirts; bath towels and washcloths; flashlights; headlamps; Leatherman; MP3 music players; music; and books in new or good condition (mystery, western, thriller, sports, inspirational – no romance novels).
“On occasion, we get requests for instruments like guitars and harmonicas,” Sanford said.
In addition to items, LSMR also is accepting donations to help offset the cost of postage to send items, she added.
Additionally, the organization is taking names of military families in need, especially during the Christmas season. To suggest names of recipients or for or more information, contact Julianna Sanford at 903-810-0303 or view the Lone Star Military Resource Group's Facebook page.