Saturday, March 5, 2011

Donation Drive at work

I work at a pretty generous place (other times not so much, but that’s not the point of this post). I have a close coworker and friend, Sarah, whose husband is a history teacher at one of our high schools. Sarah’s husband, Kent, is the leader of the National Honor Society group at the school, is working on his Masters degree in military history, and his father, as well as Sarah’s father, served in the military in Vietnam.

At the beginning of Seth’s deployment, Sarah went to her dentist (who is now my dentist because he’s awesome) and she asked if he’d like to donate toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss to Seth’s recently deployed unit to Afghanistan. He donated I think 40 of each and this got Sarah’s mind wondering and she suggested we get our whole building (I work at the administration building) in on donating goods. The turnout was awesome!!! I think we had 4 huge boxes of stuff, weighing over 80 lbs, and a coworker named Lynn generously gave me a monetary donation of $100 (her husband also served in the Army) to help with mailing costs, and purchasing whatever else we may have wanted to buy. I couldn’t believe it! Sarah and I went shopping at Sam’s Club with a portion of the money and got feminine hygiene products, multi-packs of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razors for male and female, lots of beef jerky and other snacka. Kent also took their two sons to a video game store and they picked out a handful of games to send. I couldn’t believe how awesome it turned out. We sent it in time for Memorial Day last year, and of all the boxes, the one that got there first was the one that had feminine hygiene products. (Knowing Seth, I knew he’d round up a bunch of guys, take pictures of them with the tampons…and sure enough, he did).

Anyways, Seth’s brother Shane deployed last month. Kent recently asked me if his students can do another donation drive. I told him Seth’s deployment is wrapping up, and they didn’t need/want a bunch of things but I would ask Shane if he’d like to be the lucky recipient. He said that’d be awesome. So, Shane has agreed to this and is looking forward to receiving the goods. I asked him for ideas of what they’d like and he said, “any kind of hygiene item, blank ink pens, cookies – especially Oreos – beef jerky, any kind of military book, and xbox games.” My dad and I work at the same place, and I didn't tell him we were doing this for Shane. He emailed me yesterday and said his bus drivers wanted to do a "stuff the bus" donation drive for deployed military members. (They do this during the holidays and donate the food items to a local food pantry and toys to Toys for Tots). This is going to be bigger than I anticipated and I think I'm going to recruit some professional help.

So, my question to all you readers is: do you have any Marine specific recommendations for us to gather? I need to make a list to give to Kent for his students. What do you normally put in a care package? I know what I send to Seth but I feel pressure to make an ultra cool package for Shane.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

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