This year, once again, my office will participate in the item drive for troops. The Pulaski VFW 7289 and the Ladies Auxiliary will send care packages and stockings to troops. Lois and LeRoy Bowen and the Ladies Auxiliary in Pulaski spearhead this special event every year. They are collecting donations again this year to let the troops know that we appreciate all that they do for us. My office has worked with the Ladies Auxiliary for the past five years on this project to help promote their cause and boost collections by spreading the word.
The troops appreciate the care packages. Soldiers often write letters, thanking the Post for their care packages. Others send group pictures back to the Post, with smiles on their faces, holding up items they received. We will be collecting donations until December 9.
This is the time of year when we start to examine our own personal level of donationsówhether itís time, talents or treasures. Itís inspiring to see parents and grandparents use this item drive as a way to teach their children or grandchildren about giving. Iíve had young families come into the office with Halloween candy or personal care items. They bring their children with them to drop the items off and those kids are proud to give.
There are several other local groups preparing care packages for children and families that would otherwise have a hard time managing here locally as well. The Salvation Army donates turkey dinners and other groups participate in providing Christmas meals and toys. Toys for Tots collects new toys and books. Hat, mitten, coat, and boot drives can be found throughout the community. Other community organizations allow people to adopt a family. Some schools keep an anonymous list of families that are in need, too.
The following is a list of items needed for the troops:
- Handmade items, cards, cards from children, pictures from children. Lois says they love to get cards from the kids.
- Halloween candy, candy canes, individual packages of cookies/crackers, tuna and chicken kits, DVDs, CDs, puzzle books, writing paper, phone cards, disposable cameras, gum.
- Travel-sized hygiene products such as shampoo, soap, deodorant, baby wipes, shaving items, feminine products, nail polish, nail clippers, candles, lip balm and eye drops.
- Soups and hot drinks such as tea, cocoa, instant coffee.
- Power bars, granola bars, dried fruit, slim jims, beef jerky, instant soup, individual cocoa packets, powdered Gatorade, Kool-aid, individual packets of oatmeal cereal.
People may drop off items at my Assembly office at 200 North Second Street in Fulton. The Camillus Town Hall, located at 4600 West Genesee Street, Syracuse, also is serving as a collection site again this year. Items also may be dropped off at the Pulaski VFW at 4815 Salina Street in Pulaski.
If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by email at email@example.com or by calling (315) 598-5185. You also may find me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.