EATON — Two hundred care packages were assembled at the old Church of Brethren in Eaton on Saturday, Dec. 5, as the Blue Star Mothers of America’s local chapter prepared Christmas boxes to be sent to those deployed through the military over the holidays.
The boxes were filled by volunteers who came and went throughout the afternoon, to help fill the boxes full of DVDs, CDs, snacks and food, toys and games, as well as miniature Christmas trees and Christmas cards made by local elementary students.
The boxes will be sent all over the world to troops currently deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, on naval ships and other places throughout the world where troops are deployed.
All the items were donated locally and one area American Legion post, New Palestine Indiana Post 182, donated the cost of postage for all the boxes, according to Blue Star Mothers of America local chapter president Linda Samuels.
Volunteers came in of all ages, from toddlers, to teens, to military veterans, and included Twin Valley South’s Career Based Intervention program which brought 12 local teenagers to help for the third-straight year according to advisor Robin Judd.
Samuels, who currently has two children serving in the military, said the boxes are simple reminders to show the soldiers someone is thinking of them. “They love them,” she said of her own children who have received boxes in the past.
Samuels explained the importance of the boxes: “Where most of the soldiers are at, they don’t have access to a lot of the stuff we put in the boxes, like the snacks and food, and when they do, it’s expensive. Plus it’s stuff from home so it shows that we care and we haven’t forgotten about them.”
Currently the local chapter only has nine members and is a relatively small chapter looking for more members. The chapter includes Preble County and they also cover the counties of Butler, and Darke and Randolph and Wayne Counties in Indiana.
Christmas isn’t the only time boxes are sent by the group — according to Samuels they also send boxes on Easter with an Easter theme, and in the fall.
Samuels said this is the ninth year boxes have been sent by the local chapter, and she says many of the same volunteers come back each year.
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