JAMESTOWN – An annual event that ships a piece of home for the holidays to those serving in the U.S. Military overseas is taking place this weekend.
The local Blue Star Mothers chapter is getting ready for their annual Military Christmas Care Package Drive at the Fluvanna Community Church.
As Kathy Collver and Susan Rowley explain, the group will be collecting donations Wednesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. ahead of their packaging event this Saturday, December 11.
“This year we are really looking forward to getting back into full swing and having all of the community who wants to come out and help us pack these boxes to our military, and these boxes go all over the world,” said Collver.
This longtime tradition has become a community staple in the last several years bringing families together in what Rowley says is the ultimate show of patriotism.
“That morning to me is like a six-year-olds Christmas morning, I’m like a six year old on Christmas morning that day and that just fulfills my Christmas wishes that day” Rowley explained. “To walk in that room and to see all those people there for the same reason. Our community is so patriotic and so supportive, and to see them all come out and know that they have donated funds for postage, they’ve donated the items for the packages; this is a Western New York effort and Northern Pennsylvania to helps out this is our whole communities effort.”
The effort wouldn’t happen without the community with everything from donations of beef jerky to sanitary items like toothpaste donated.
“Not only does the community donate the money and the material goods, but one of the best things the community donates is cards and letters, and we get so many beautiful ones from the school children, from churches, from adults so anybody can do that,” Collver furthered. “Even if you can’t afford to go out and buy material items you can write a letter and this is one of the things the troops always invariably they always say that was the best part of the box.”
The organization recognizes the selflessness of military members and their families, which is why the group is so passionate.
“We understand the sacrifices our military makes, we understand the sacrifices our military families make not just the parents but the children,” Rowley furthered “This is our small way, the only way we know to pay it back, and to thank them, and our community comes through with flying colors.”
Over the past several years all walks of life have contributed to this event, with those as young as five-years-old to 100-years-old packing a box. That is something the two moms are so proud of, seeing the community come together year after year.