Stafford sends sweet greetings to troops overseas

By Brenda Sullivan - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Wed., Dec. 5, 2012
Contributed
About 320 pounds of cookies were donated to this year’s collection for Stafford service men and women serving overseas, organized by the Stafford American Legion Auxiliary. Photo contributed by Wendy Lerette. - Contributed Photo

Some service men and women may have to loosen their belts a notch after they dig into their boxes of sweet greetings from home.

On Dec. 2, the Stafford American Legion Auxiliary collected and packaged about 320 pounds of cookies and other baked treats to send to loved ones serving overseas. Also tucked into those 32 boxes were notes, children’s drawings, photos and other reminders of home.

For the half dozen or so Auxiliary volunteers who filled the boxes, it was sometimes tough to resist the temptation to sample some of the cookies, said one of the project’s organizers, Wendy Lerette. “There were some fantastic-looking bars, for example,” she said.
It was also a nice way to get into the holiday spirit. “We had music playing and the Christmas tree up and some people baked little gingerbread men, so it does put you in the holiday spirit,” she said.

Each box was packed with about 10 pounds of cookies, and this year, four service men and women from Stafford will receive eight boxes each. That’s a lot of goodness to go around at their respective bases.

“We only had four families request packages this year – this is a small town – but we’re always trying to get the word out to anyone in town who has someone serving overseas,” Lerette said.

In fact, the Auxiliary sends packages not just at Christmas, but throughout the year. “We try to send packages every couple of months or so, as a way of saying, ‘Hey, we’re thinking of you,’” Lerette said.

She’s also creating a “wish list” of items, to be posted on the town website. The Auxiliary accepts donations of such things as shampoo, baby wipes, razors, magazines, ready-to-eat tuna packets and the like to be sent at other times of the year.  The next shipment should be going out in March.

Shipping costs add up, however. The cookie boxes cost $450 to ship, for example. So, the Auxiliary was pleased that some town residents stopped by on cookie-collection-day with monetary donations.

Lerette also expressed appreciation for help from the local post office, where staff took care of the 320 pounds of goodies before the office opened for the day – at 5:30 a.m.

Any Stafford resident who would like packages to be sent to loved ones serving in the military, or who would like to volunteer or to make a donation, can contact Wendy Lerette at wjnklere@cox.net for more information. And keep an eye on the town website for updates.


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