What do women do when their children leave for college? One group of moms from Los Alamitos, California decided to continue working together by volunteering to support our troops overseas.
In August, 2008 they began by sending four boxes to two different units in Iraq. Initially, items were donated by just two aerobics classes. Now there are friends of friends, local and non-local organizations, a local church, and many others pitching in.
Boxes of donated items provide toothbrushes and toothpaste, travel sized shampoo, baby wipes (a major item), snacks, gum, hard candy, lip balm, microwave popcorn, granola bars, coffee, tea, etc. Phone cards, hand warmers, hand knit hats, home baked cookies, blank greeting and note cards, holiday decorations and sports bras have been sent. In 2010, 321 boxes of these useful items were sent, costing over $4000 in postage. (Luckily, monetary donations have covered the postage so far.)
To date, the moms and friends have sent care boxes to over 24 units, always including the hospital at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, two other support hospitals and many different battalions of Army, Marine, Navy, and Airforce men and women. Thank you letters from the recipients often speak of their thankfulness that Americans have not forgotten them and are thinking of and praying for them.
Bread for the Journey of Orange County contributed a $600 grant that will buy 60 phone cards for service men and women in the hospital in Afghanistan.