Many Americans want to give to our heroes and felt this could be their mission to show the community cares.
Over the holiday season, volunteers from Grayson United Methodist teamed up with Soldiers Connection out of Loganville and collected, organized and packed care packages for military men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Soldiers Connection is a non-profit 501c(3) organization run by local citizens in Loganville and was created to provide basic necessities and a few extras to the military men and women stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Many organizations sending CARE packages to soldiers’ ship in bulk using military air to ship without cost. This organization has taken on a more personal approach by sending individual packages to identified soldiers or Chaplains. Their mailing list of soldiers needing CARE packages is developed from local community soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
They also have a listing of Chaplains that they send packages to handout to those soldiers who do not receive mailings from their own relatives. Sometimes, these soldiers reach out to Soldiers Connection by writing letters and e-mails asking that they put them on their mailing list. Currently Soldiers Connections’ mailing list is greater than their funding availability.
The contents of each box shipped is estimated at a value of $45 and shipping costs average $13 each. Last year they shipped 1,115 boxes.
Funding to cover these costs come from volunteers soliciting local businesses, churches, and individual citizens within the community and fund raising events. The number of boxes mailed is dependent upon funding availability.
They rotate shipments to individuals to try and reach as many as possible.
A specific needs list has been developed for the soldiers in Afghanistan.
When there are shortages of specific items funds must be expended to purchase these items. If funds are not available to cover needs, they must cut back on the frequency of shipments.
If you have any questions or interested in contributing to this charity you may contact Anitia Owens at 770-846-4454.
Anita Owens is a member of the American Legion Post 233 Women's Auxiliary and Soldiers' Connection representative.