Nov. 24, 2006 – Operation Care and Comfort, a military care package program, has reached a milestone with its 200,000th pound of care packages shipped to the troops. Since April 2003, this all-volunteer program has worked with the community to send a touch of home to troops serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflict regions. Dozens of volunteers of all ages joined in on Nov. 19 and helped pack about 10,000 pounds of care packages to send.
This self-funded, grassroots program is a member of America Supports You, a Defense Department program designed to connect the American public with servicemembers at home and overseas. Operation Care and Comfort is affiliated with the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Operation Care and Comfort's unique program invites members of the community to use their time, talents and treasure to show servicemembers in harm's way that they are not forgotten.
"Our program's strength is in the fantastic volunteers who have come forward to help in all areas, including fund raising, product donation drives, letter writing campaigns, etc. We are included in the Department of Defense America Supports You program, so folks all over the country contact us with questions regarding supporting our troops," said Julie DeMaria, co-founder, Operation Care and Comfort. "In addition, our servicemembers also find us and ask for support for their units, via our Web site. We are currently shipping monthly care packages to 60 different military units of all branches, with more on a waiting list."
Operation Care and Comfort's holiday drive began Sept. 1. TroopFest 2006, an Operation Care and Comfort troop support rally and benefit concert, was held onboard the USS Hornet Sept. 30, drawing thousands of people from all over northern California. Entertainment included Greg Kihn, Tony Lindsay and others.
"We are still collecting items, handwritten cards and letters, and monetary donations to offset shipping costs of $1 a pound. Items donated by Dec. 1 will be packed and shipped in time for a Christmas delivery, DeMaria said. For ways to help, visit www.operationcareandcomfort.org or call (408) 373-8635.
Article sponsored by Navy Gifts and Police Officer turned law enforcement writer.