The Great Bend Military Moms group recently packed and shipped another 150 boxes for soldiers serving in the Iraq and Afghanistan areas. Each soldier will receive at least 2 boxes loaded with food , snacks, games, toys, DVD’s, CD’s, personal care items, and lots of love and appreciation from home.
"The shipment for each soldier is divided because it is cheaper to ship two flat-rate boxes instead of one larger box," said Leslie Barrett, the group’s organizer. "We do this so more of the money can be spent on the actual items for these brave men and women." However, it does create extra work - double the packing process, paperwork, customs forms, etc. "It is worth it, though, if we can put a smile on a soldier’s face and give them plenty to share with others!"
The project was started seven years ago, and they have now shipped almost 3400 boxes. "Community support (through financial donations and volunteer help) has made it all possible, and I just can’t find the words to express how thankful we are to everyone who continues to make this possible." Barrett said. "But I had to give up writing thank you notes a long time ago – I just could not keep up."
All contributors are added to a letter included in each box, which reads, "We Appreciate you! We want to thank you for your commitment to the United States of America. There are no words to express our appreciation for the dedication and sacrifices you make every day, to protect the very freedoms we enjoy as American citizens. These gifts were made possible by the following people and organizations from Great Bend and surrounding central Kansas communities. We thank YOU for everything you do for all of us!"
For more information, to make a donation, or to give a military address for future shipments, please contact Barrett at 620-792-2838.