American Legion Auxiliary Unit 55 members in Hortonville are already packing up Christmas boxes filled with items for our troops overseas.
“Many young men and women are a long way from the peace of home this Christmas. Let’s all work together to send a little bit of Christmas love to our troops away from their loved ones and home this year,” said Donna Nickel Americanism Chairperson for Unit 55.
Nickel is inviting community members to join them in working with other organizations, and businesses to insure our troops far from home have a merrier Christmas this year.
She said twenty percent of troops overseas would only receive what a caring stranger sends them for Christmas.
As in the past, they have already started packing up boxes filled with new Christmas cards in hope of getting them to troops in time for them to mail them back home to loved ones before Christmas.
She said included with the cards are new or gently used religious and non-religious Christmas music CDs, small non-breakable Christmas decorations, small homemade Christmas stockings and Christmas trees and hand warmers.
Careful attention is paid to all items being mailed, Nickel reports. “We insure no cards or ornaments have glitter on them. Glitter on a uniform or boots could reveal a soldier’s position.”
The first boxes of Christmas items will hit the mail on Wednesday, Nov. 26.
On the advice of the military, most boxes of food, socks and other troop support items will be mailed between January 7 and February 28, when our troops need them most.
The Auxiliary Unit collects items, organizes them, and ships them when appropriate.
Items on the wish list include:
New Christmas cards, fist-sized or smaller unbreakable Christmas decorations, Christmas music CDs, hand warmers, 13 ounce or smaller containers of any regular (no decaf) coffee products, hot cocoa mix, tea (no decaf), apple cider mix, beef jerky or foil pouches of tuna, small packages of dried fruit, nuts, or trail mix, granola, breakfast, or protein bars, “Cup-of-soup”, ramen noodles, or Styrofoam cup instant soup, instant oatmeal, solid white, black, or green cotton boot height thick socks.
Nickel said folks might also consider donating postage and supply money used to send the items overseas.
She said many businesses in Hortonville and surrounding areas are collecting supplies or donating cash this year. Supplies are collected from now until December 15.
Troop support collection sites include Damn Yankees Watering Hole, Dan’s Flooring, Hardtails Saloon, Gilbert’s Sentry Foods, Hortonville Lanes, The Loose Wheel Restaurant, Magoos, Otter Creek Sports Bar and Grill, Porky’s Tap, Festival Foods of New London and Appleton, Taco John’s on Richmond Street in Appleton. Year-round donation sites include the Press-Star and Piggly Wiggly in New London, Don’s Quality Market and the Advertiser Community News in Seymour, the Dale Post Office, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Greenville, Donaldson’s Gourmet and Gifts in Hortonville, and First United Methodist Church on Franklin Street in Appleton.
Donations not used immediately will be used for future mailings.
Increased mailing costs
Nickel said that with the recent increase in postage, the cost to mail all these donations is now $15.90 per box. Cash donations can be mailed to: American Legion Auxiliary Unit 55, Troop Support, W9096 Spring Road, Hortonville, WI 54944.”
Little things appreciated
“When you consider donating items to our efforts, please keep in mind these are people with limited space and often very humble living conditions. Small packages of nutritious or warm food and drinks are always welcome,” said Nickel.
“Our troops can use nearly anything you use in your daily life,” she added.
“When donating please keep in mind this simple list of banned items. No nudity or pornography, no alcohol, no pork, no liquid, no glass, and no aerosols (explodes during shipment). Please do not donate opened, expired, or nearly expired products.”
For more information contact Donna Nickel at 920-779-6229 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.thetroopgroup.org.