MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Help make the holidays brighter for our troops and veterans

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

The Blue Star Mothers of America is a non-profit organization that has been supporting active duty military and veterans since World War II.

The Miami Valley Chapter of the organization supports troops all over the world, veterans, and one another. Members regularly pack an average of 12 boxes each week that are then sent to deployed troops. Each box contains about $30 worth of supplies and costs about $10 to send. The group also helps support programs at the Dayton VA.

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The recipients are so appreciative. “When I received care packages while deployed, it gave me a sense of home,” says U.S. Marine Cosey Bradley. “Not having certain things while deployed made it pretty mundane and boring. Having little gifts like candy and drink mixes made a better quality of living while away from home. Members of the USS Shoup (DDG86) would share snacks and the sailors appreciated saving money on toiletries.”

While Adrienne Sechlereth of Wright Patterson Air Force Base was deployed to Afghanistan, she received multiple care packages filled with snacks, daily essentials and encouraging words. “The morale and knowledge of support from home these packages provided helped make each day better,” she says. " I can’t thank the Blue Star Mothers enough.”

This local chapter of Blue Star Mothers is gearing up for its biggest event of the year on Nov. 12. Members will gather to pack Christmas stockings to send to deployed troops who will not be home for the holiday. “These stockings will be filled with various goodies and snacks,” says Robin Bradley, Troop Center Coordinator. “We are preparing to send 800 stockings this year.” She says many items are needed to fill stockings and still keep up with the regular care package delivery.

Robin Bradley says our Make a Difference readers can help make heroes smile by providing the most needed supplies.

Here’s what they would like to have:

  • Individual packs of cookies
  • Individually wrapped Rice Krispy treats
  • Individual size fruit snacks
  • Tubes of nuts and trail mix
  • Granola bars
  • Slim Jims
  • Hot chocolate packets
  • Individual tubes of drink mix
  • Tic Tacs
  • Chapstick
  • Gum
  • Individually wrapped candy

Donations can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays at the Chapter #3 Troop Center, 6661 Clyo Rd., Centerville. To arrange another time for drop-off, email Robin Bradley at 2ndvp@bluestarmothersdayton.com. The group accepts donations all year long.

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Mail donations to Blue Star Mothers #3, P.O. Box 292722, Kettering, OH 45429.

You’ll find an extensive list and a link to the organization’s Amazon Wish List on the Facebook page and website: Bluestarmothersdayton.com.

Other ways to help: The Blue Star mothers are always in need of volunteers to help pack the boxes. Write to Robin Bradley if you are interested.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: meredith.moss@coxinc.com.

Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.

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