This week's "My turn" column is by Beverly Soldan, Tina Burnham and Lesley Beers, who operate "Care Packages From Home."
We are "Care Packages From Home." We pack, wrap and ship care packages to our men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.
No matter what we think about the war, our soldiers are over there defending us and they need our support and encouragement.
It has been nearly six years that our project has been active.
It all started when a friend of my daughter's was sending care packages to her brother in Iraq. Tina thought it was such a great idea, we started sending to him, also, and that was the beginning.
We started at my dining room table and have since moved to a larger building on my property. We received more names and addresses and donations of items started coming in as the word spread.
The Daily Star very generously started putting our information in the paper and the project continued to grow.
All of the items and all of the postage are donated.
We're often asked, "Are you still doing this?" and "What do you need?"
Our answer: As long as our troops are over there, we will continue. What we need is anything you use on a daily basis because their needs are the same.
The list published in The Daily Star is from the soldiers themselves. Some have a PX (military store), some do not, or it is very poorly supplied and always very expensive. Some live on outposts, forward operating bases (front lines) in tents with very few supplies, even taking showers using bottled water.
We have a few local businesses that donate on a monthly basis. We always need money for postage, which is very expensive. Sending priority mail usually takes about two weeks to arrive.