JEWETT — This year, the Harrison County Military Support Group’s Christmas Wrapping Event was called a success after raising enough donations to send 15 soldiers to serve overseas care packages for the Christmas season. holidays.
The care packages – which include hygiene products, puzzle books, portable radios, playing cards, slippers and homemade cookies – are part of the group’s longstanding tradition which is done four times per year for Easter, 4th of July, Halloween / Thanksgiving and Christmas. .
Sarah Snyder, a member of the group since 2017, said organizers like to make sure troops get packages during the holidays. This year, they collected enough donations to fill 46 boxes to send to 15 soldiers, most of whom are county residents or have relatives in the county.
“More than half of them were Harrison Central alumni or had a connection to Harrison County,” she said, adding that a volunteer’s grandson is deployed on a ship and a shipmate has never received a package since his deployment. “So from last year we also started packing boxes for him. Even though he has no connection to the area, if I hear of someone like that I will send him a package. We want everyone to get something.
This year’s event has been dubbed a “dazzling success” by its organizers. Snyder said he heard from two of the soldiers who received their packages.
“They sent us pictures. … They were really excited. Whoever said that after coming home from a hard day at work, it was a well-deserved surprise,” she says.
Justin Hartley, an airman deployed overseas who received care packages, wrote the group a letter to express his gratitude. Another soldier, Autumn Ash, who also sent a letter of thanks to the group, said it was the “the coolest surprise” to receive packages. Both also sent photos of them opening the packages.
Snyder said he is grateful to all of the donors and volunteers who helped make this event possible. The group and volunteers came together earlier in December to wrap up the donations they received from businesses and community members.
“It’s all about donations” she said, adding that it wouldn’t be possible to do the event without those in the community.
The seniors at Harrison Central High School have taken the care package event as their senior project. They collected and donated 740 needed items.
Encino Energy also donated items and paid for all shipping costs, which cost about $25-30 per box, or more than $1,100 in total.
“We gave them a list of things we like to send and they ended up bringing about 10 boxes. … They collected the items from a veterans dinner for their veterans. The veterans also sat down and wrote letters to each of the soldiers,” she says.
Pennington’s also donated approximately $750 to the effort. The money was taken from the proceeds of a Veterans Day concert featuring Neil McCoy.
Other local businesses and organizations that contributed to the event included the Presbyterian Church, Mattern Tire, Domino’s Pizza, Democratic Women’s Club, Tippecanoe Fire Department Auxiliary, The Meadows and more than two dozen volunteers.
The next wrapping event will be in April for Easter. Organizers usually start packing three weeks before the holiday to ensure the boxes reach the troops in time.