Locals assemble packages for troops

Stating, “They’re our troops, after all, so they deserve our support,” JP resident Rebecca Kushner has been assembling care packages for American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan since May.

Kushner is coordinating her efforts with Cape Cod Cares for the Troops, an organization started by a young boy that now sends care packages to hundreds of soldiers—many of whom were referred by their commanding officer or chaplain because they don’t receive other mail and have limited access to a military store.

On June 5, the first set of packages was picked up by 15-year-old Dylan DeSilva and his mother Michelle and mailed the next week.

The donations have been pouring in from other local residents. Kushner is soliciting donations of granola bars; powdered drink mixes; toothpaste, deodorant and other hygiene items; sunscreen, bug spray; batteries; magazines—everything needed by soldiers with limited access to a military store.

Arva Clark, a JP resident, was quick to write a check for the cause. “I thanked her for asking me,” Clark said. “I wanted to help the soldiers, but never knew how. So I’m glad to have this opportunity now.”

Judy Kessler, another JP resident, said she was so impressed with the project, she mentioned it to friends at a dinner party. “They were immediately touched by the idea of being able to contribute to the support of our troops,” Kessler said. “Even if people are not able to contribute something tangible, like snacks or toothpaste, they can contribute money, which Rebecca then uses to purchase items she needs for the care packages. The project flyer also mentioned letters, which I intend to write—letters are such a personal way of reaching out to our troops.”

Donating gifts for Iraqi and Afghani children is also acceptable. Pens and pencils, crayons, stickers, and small toys are included in every package, both to help soldiers develop relationships with local families and to cheer up children living in the war-torn countries.

Mohammed Mohsin gave food items for the care packages. “They need our help because they’re risking their lives for us,” he said.

One of the most popular donations is a letter to a soldier. Kushner explains to people how to do that properly.

Kushner’s living room is filled with sports bars, packets of hot chocolate mixes, toiletries, books and other donated items. But, she said, she doesn’t mind. “It’s the least we can do,” she said.

For more information on donating for the care packages, go to www.rebeccakushner.net/soldiers, or call 524-6842.

From press materials.

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