March 26, 2014 - Clarkston's American Legion Post 63 Ladies Auxiliary hosted a packing party on March 7 to send care packages to American soldiers serving overseas.
Volunteers pack boxes full of goodies for American soldiers overseas. Photo provided (click for larger version)
About 60 boxes were packed full things like of snacks, toiletries, magazines, books socks, hard candy and many other items. Volunteers picked items laid out on large tables to pack the boxes.
"There was just a ton of stuff to put in the boxes," said volunteer Peg Roth. "The kinds of things our soldiers cannot get through military bases."
High energy snacks easily loaded into backpacks are appreciated, said Annie Germic, who organized the mission to collect and send the items.
Germic said the Ladies Auxiliary at Post 63 sends packages about four times a year and ships around 10-12 boxes to one local soldier so there is plenty to share with friends.
"We send boxes around Valentine's Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Thanksgiving," she said.
One soldier told her he took all the boxes to a common area to open so everyone could dig in.
Roth said the original goal was to fill 20 packages, but thanks to donations, the group was able to send over 40 more packages than the original goal.
Packages were sent to several locations including Afghanistan, Korea and Okinawa.
Residents and local businesses helped collect items to be included in the packages. Clarkston Brandon Credit Union as well as several branches of Huron Valley Financial helped by placing boxes in their branch offices.
Roth said a collection drive at CBCCU helped tremendously.
Donna Bullard, CBCCU and volunteer for the entire mission, said her son Rockwood received several care packages to share with his unit when he was serving in Afghanistan.
Bullard said he received the package at Christmastime. Rockwood, affectionately known as Rocky, is an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Senior Airman in the U.S. Air Force.
"It's great getting things from home you can't get otherwise, and knowing there's people at home supporting what we're doing," he said.
Rocky was appreciative of the packages, so when he came home, he visited the volunteers to thank them and discuss his experience serving overseas. The auxiliary has been sending the packages since 2008.
During the first year, Germic said Clarkston Community Schools got involved and held contests to compete against each other to see who could collect the most items.
"The response was overwhelming and we were able to send 200 boxes the first year," she said.
The next packages will be sent near Independence Day. If you would like to help, or have the name of a member of the military who would like to receive packages, contact Germic via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff writer covering Independence Township and Clarkston area.