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Lodi’s Support Our Troops hopes to send 2,000 care packages this holiday season

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Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 5:50 pm, Wed Oct 19, 2011.

Lodi’s Support Our Troops will spend almost $22,000 on postage this holiday season to send roughly 2,000 care packages to military troops in the Middle East.

Each package has 60 items, ranging from dental floss to homemade scarves to candy, and weighs roughly 30 pounds.

“When we are done, there is no air space in there,” said LaRhonda Templeton, organizer for the event. “This has turned into a huge community effort.”

Nine years ago, Templeton began hosting a small group of volunteers at her home to help ship packages to people serving in the military in Afghanistan and Iraq.

That year, volunteers were able to put together 50 boxes.

Last year, the group was able to send 1,860 boxes overseas, to countries all across the Middle East.

Though Support Our Troops originally purchased items for the care packages themselves, now flyers are passed out to community members who are shopping at Walmart in hopes that some will return with items to put in the boxes.

“We have people coming out of the store with bags of things for multiple boxes,” said group member Jody Ives. “We even have kids coming after school to help pack up the boxes. People do this because they want to, not because they have to.”

A fundraiser is set Nov. 5 at the Van Ruiten winery.

A packing party to get packages ready for shipment will be held at the American Legion at 320 N. Washington St. on Nov. 18.

Contact reporter Katie Nelson at katien@lodinews.com.

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1 comment:

  • Julie McKinley posted at 10:36 am on Wed, Oct 19, 2011.

    twbmom Posts: 1

    Thank you Katie, for writing such a wonderful article and we thank Lodi Association of Realtors for their generous donation! I would like to add that the date for the Cheer Box Packing Party is on November 18th at 9am...not the 5th. November 5th we are having a fundraiser at Van Ruiten Winery called Our Troops Our Heroes and all are welcome who are over 21 yrs old. You can check out our website at www.LodiSupportOurTroops.com or go to Lodi Support Our Troops on facebook.

    Again...we want to thank everyone who contributes time or monetary donations to help us help give a little "cheer" to the troops deployed to the Middle East.



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