Shoe Boxes 4 Soldiers

My Name is Melinda Brooks (ARI AGENCY located in Lenoir City TN) and I am a member of Pine Grove Presbyterian Church in Greenback TN. I work with the Wednesday night Kids-time program as well as other programs in our church.

In 2005 we were studying Mission Projects with the kids, (Kids-time kids are ages 4 thru 12). We gave them several projects to choose from to be their project for the year. They chose Shoeboxes for Soldiers. So we starting collecting items that were on the list for the Adopt-a-soldier Program thru Fort Bragg.

The first year, the kids and their families collected enough items to put together about 75 care packages for our deployed troops for Christmas. In addition to the Christmas shoeboxes we have been able to include items for their Dayrooms. We have also sent packages at Easter and other times that the Ft Bragg program director needed a little extra for our beloved troops. We have sent an average of 100 shoeboxes each Christmas since as well as a dayroom box to places that include FOBs in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea. We have also sent items to Blanchfield Army Hospital for the wounded.  We have sent to the Army, Marines, and the Air Force. We hope to include the Navy as well. (The Navy is a little harder to get things delivered to).

This past year the postage had gone up from about $500 to send the shoeboxes to over $800. Since we want to continue our Program that has been in place for 12 years, we are holding a community wide fundraiser and carnival style event in September September 16th, 2017 from 10-00 am to 3:00 pm. 

We are going to be providing games and cookout and ask the community to donate to this worthy cause of letting our troops from all branches knowing how much they are appreciated for the sacrifices they make for us every day. There will also be a card making station so that they can hand make a card that will be included in the care package that is sent in December. We hope to have games such as an obstacle course, a dunking booth, and at least a cake walk. We want to have something for all age groups.

We would also like for the community to meet some of our troops and see some of the equipment they use to keep us safe if at possible.  We are hoping that you will be able to join us that September 16th and bring one of your Army vehicles for the kids to look at, and possibly other items that maybe you show the recruit prospects. We are hoping to give the community a better understanding of what our Troops do for us on a daily basis to keep us safe and protect the freedoms we all enjoy.

We are asking that if any of the area businesses can help with an Item for our Silent Auction or prizes for the games, it would be much appreciated. Also donation of items for the soldier care packages are welcome as well/

Please let me know if you will be able to help us Support of Troops and the Shoeboxes for our Troops programs.

I can be reached on my cell phone at 865-200-6129 or at my office, 865-986-9086. I look forward to talking with you soon. My email is: lindy3269@gmail.com

Thank you,

Melinda Brooks

Fellowship and Media Chairperson

Shoeboxes for our Troops Coordinator

SOLDIER WISH LIST

Additional Thoughts:

  • Remember that the things you send will have to be carried and possibly put in pockets.  Please send small bottles and packets.
     
  • Postage stamps are not needed.  Soldiers that are deployed can send letters back to the United States for free.  Letters going to a deployed Soldier only require a 44-cent/first-class stamp.
     
  • Please do not send anything liquid (water, juice, Gatorade, etc.).  It is very heavy and will increase the cost of postage.  It can also bust and ruin the rest of the box.  Send dry drink mixes (pre-sweetened) instead.  The Soldiers get water from their unit and can mix it when they get it.

        Please DO NOT send canned goods.  Not only are they too heavy, but Soldiers are not always in areas where

             they can cook the food or sometimes even open the cans.

  • When sending reading material, be VERY careful of the content.  The culture our Soldiers are in is very different than ours.  We want to leave the local residents with a good impression of our Soldiers and country.  We do not want to offend them in any way. 
     
  • Please do not send any articles of "civilian" clothing like t-shirts, etc.  The Soldiers can only wear their uniforms. We can send socks cotton black or white, crew or tube
     
  • Items that have pork or pork products in them should not be sent.  It is against the Muslim religion to consume pork.  Although our Soldiers can eat the items, we want to respect the local culture, religion, and customs.
     
  • Please always include a card or letter with your goodies, with your name and address and email address if you have one so the Soldier can send a note of thanks. We will also be sending Christmas Cards in the packages made by the Kids of Pine Grove Presbyterian Church-
     
  • Lastly, THANK YOU!!!  The Soldiers and Families truly appreciate everything you are doing to show your support and concern.

We will be having a Shoe Boxes 4 Soldiers Event September 16th from 10am 3 pm at Pine Grove Presbyterian Church, 4800 Hwy 95 S, Greenback, TN 37742. If you would like to help, please contact Melinda Brooks @ 865-200-6129 or lindy3269@gmail.com

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7/10/17