In 2011, a group of women living in Del Webb, Ranch del Lago, has been sending cards and care packages to deployed troops. To date, they sent over 121,000 cards and 1,722 care packages, mostly in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait. Most of the cards are for the troops to mail back home, but each care package includes some birthday cards and promotion congratulations for the troops themselves.

Several times each year the group also makes cards for veterans at TMC’s Hospice Center and have sent hundreds of cards to the Tucson VA Hospital.

For this holiday season, the group just mailed 25 Christmas boxes with hundreds of cards for the troops to open Christmas day and hundreds for them to mail to loved ones.  Some packages also included small Christmas ornaments or stockings and each included 2 or 3 Christmas and New Year posters they can hang as decorations. The packages include toiletries, snacks, coffee and condiments, small board games, baseballs, yo-yos, Frisbees, some paperback books, history books that are requested, and magazines.

Some bases do not have a chow hall open for dinner.  The troops at those locations request protein bars, jerky, tuna pouches, nuts, and dried fruit to have in their lockers.  Many air crews and soldiers need these snacks when they are out on missions, too. Many locations have slow deliveries of items to the base store.  Often entire shelves are empty.  When a shipment arrives, the items quickly sell out because so many troops have been waiting for them.

The group has received two thank you notes this week from leaders who say they have quite a number of troops in their unit who have no contact with anyone at home.  These packages are particularly important to them and raise their morale tremendously.

Letters from adults and children, children’s drawings, and such are gratefully received by troops. Each box costs $17.40 to mail. If you would like to contribute or assist with this project, call Ev Campbell at 289-9100.

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