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Troops Benefit From Community Generosity

Donations still needed for troop "care" packages.

Although they may be far away from our homes, some local
moms and dads want to make sure their sons and daughters serving in Iraq,
Afghanistan and
in other foreign outposts aren’t forgotten during the upcoming holidays.

The groups Prayer Angels For the Military and Blue Star
Mothers of the Canyons are teaming up to collect and package “care packages” of
donations from individuals and businesses.

“We’ve been doing this since the war began and we’ll
continue to do it as long as it’s needed,” said Suzon Gerstel, a member of
Prayer Angels For the Military who is organizing a large-scale packing/wrapping

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29, they will be working
at the Newhall Community
Center, putting together the boxes of goodies and
notes from home.

“It’s gotten bigger and bigger each year; we started doing
this at a home, then an office building, and now it’s graduated to an
auditorium,” she said. “This year it’s been really hard for fundraising;
sometimes we just forget that there are guys and ladies over there, far from
home in a war zone.”

Gerstel said that the simple act of writing a note or card
for a soldier could help bolster spirits and make them feel less separated from

The project, dubbed Operation Thank You Troops, is still in
need of items for the care packages. They include the following, which should
be in their original packaging:

  • Beef jerky, Slim Jims
  • Granola bars, trail mix
  • Candy, cookies, snacks
  • Powdered Gatorade
  • On the Go packets of Crystal Light, Propel
  • Drink mixes, such as tea, cider, cocoa
  • Coffee and Splenda packets
  • Soup mixes, Top Ramen
  • Ritz crackers, Pringles, Fritos
  • Pretzels, sunflower seeds
  • Tuna pouches/kits
  • Peanut butter, instant oatmeal
  • Canned meals (Ravioli, chili)
  • Handheld games and toys (travel or Nerf games)
  • AA and AAA batteries in original packages
  • Disposable cameras
  • Tobacco items
  • Gloves, chemically-activated hand warmers
  • Sport socks (white or black cotton)
  • Anti-fungal foot powder
  • Tinactin (athlete’s foot cream)
  • Odor Eaters/Insoles
  • Baby wipes (individual packs)
  • Razors (3 or 4 blade preferred)
  • Twin sheets, towels (dark colors)
  • Non-aerosol shaving cream
  • Cold/cough meds, Neosporin
  • Lotion, Q-tips, toenail clippers
  • Anti-bacterial soap, shampoo
  • Deodorant (men and women)
  • CD’s/DVD’s
  • Non-aerosol Deet insect repellant
  • Phone cards (ATT-International only)
  • Flashlights (high intensity)
  • Ziplock backs (all sizes)
  • Fleece scarves (black, brown, tan)
  • Ski caps (tight knit), blankets
  • K-9 treats, toys (for military dogs)


Of course, cards and letters of support are always
appreciated to go with the packages. In addition, donations of cash for mailing
the packages are requested; packing and shipping costs average $10.95 per

The group has a goal of exceeding the 2,000 boxes sent in

To make donations, bring them to the community care
packaging event from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29 or contact Prayer Angels
For the Military at (661) 799-8865, or visit their website at



Troops Benefit From Community Generosity

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