Support Maneuvers: Faith drives volunteers’ efforts to help troops
Polk County Enterprise, April 2007
LIVINGSTON — Sunscreen, wet wipes and sports drinks in any flavor that’s not red are treasured in the Iraqi desert.
Volunteers stuffed those items and many other badly needed supplies into over 100 boxes Thursday night at the Livingston Physical Therapy Clinic.
Each of the 58 military personnel with Polk County ties will get two boxes from the support group this month, organizer Bea Ellis said.
Five of those recipients are women, up from one Polk County female just a few months ago, Ellis said.
Care packages are also sent to stateside service members since they too are busy training, preparing for deployment or supporting other units in the Middle East, Ellis said.
The group has pledged to send out as many boxes each month as their postage fund allows.
Each box costs $9.15 to ship. A postage increase set to take effect on May 10 is pushing the group to prepare for an earlier mailing next month.
Ellis is also searching for a bulk source for high-demand items like sunscreen.
The Marine mom read a letter detailing how big an impact the packages make among the soldiers living in austere conditions in the Middle East.
Sgt. Ace said six or seven soldiers in his company that get Polk County boxes are sharing with 120 soldiers.
“When the boxes arrive we’re like kids in a candy store,” Sgt. Ace said.
Based on a suggestion from Ace, future boxes will include food items with more nutritional value, as opposed to sweets.
While those items are greatly appreciated, his company had only had one hot meal, which was breakfast, in 40 days.
Each of the April boxes included tuna packets, reheatable packaged meals, peanut butter and other nonperishable foods. The boxes also included at least one magazine, novel, electronic games and puzzle books.
The group is also beginning to collect used DVDs for troops to watch during off-duty hours.
Donations to help offset postage expenses or supply items can be made at the Livingston Physical Therapy Clinic.
Hygiene products, small or travel size
Shaving cream (no cans)
Foot powder or cream
Baby power or corn starch
Fabric softener sheets
Food Items - No chocolate
Coffee/Tea/Cocoa single servings
Canned meats — no pork
Soup in a cup
Mini Fan w/batteries