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FLUVANNA – Organizers of the Blue Star Mothers Christmas Care Package drive in Chautauqua County say sending troops a piece of home during the holidays is more important than ever.
After getting approval from the county Health Department around 60 people masked up Saturday morning to pack hundreds of boxes for U.S. Servicemen and women overseas.
Susan Rowley, the President of Blue Star Mothers NY Chapter 4, was uncertain about how much support she was would receive amid a pandemic.
She says some of the mothers who usually help were unable to because of COVID-19 concerns, and the community came together to fill the void.
“This is the most patriotic community, every time we ask, and we put it out there that we need help, they come through,” said Rowley. “Nationally, Blue Star Mothers all send care packages if they can, and nationally we are third in the nation for our little community.”
The boxes are filled with pretty much everything from packs of beef jerky to bottles of body wash and shampoo. However, Rowley says she is told by soldiers the best part of the packages is the handwritten notes and letters.
This year, some of those letters are even more special after 88-year-old Dottie Muzzy put together boxes with handwritten notes honoring her brothers who served in World War II.
“She took all of that love, and all of those feelings of what she felt when they were gone, and she wrote it in these letters,” explained Rowley. “She came and packed a box last night for eight different military members and put a letter in that box telling them about that brother.”
Muzzy dedicated each box to one of her eight brothers.
“I hope they feel the love, dedication and the American pride from World War II,” said Rowley.
Rowley says the cards and letters are the first thing troops see when opening the box, detailing the thanks and love from Western New York.
In total, 662 boxes were packed and will be shipped by JRSC Express. Rowley says the business helps not only saves her group money in reduced costs but saves them time by providing electronic postage. In the past Rowley says each box had to be addressed by hand.
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