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Group Needs Help to Share Holiday Cheer With Soldiers

Posted November 9, 2007

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— A local group that brings holiday cheer to troops deployed overseas has issued an urgent plea for help as its supplies are far below its goals.

The North Carolina branch of Give 2 the Troops sent 800 care packages during the Christmas season – each with enough goodies for 10 soldiers – to war zones in 2006. The nonprofit wants to the same this year, but only has donations enough for between 25 and 50 boxes.

"I'm panicked, because the troops depend on us," Barbara Whitehead, director of the state branch, said. She pointed to nearly empty warehouse shelves and bins and added, "I don't know how we're going to divide this among 8,000 troops."

The organization's bank account is almost empty, too. It cost $16,000 to ship boxes for Christmas last year, Whitehead said.

The shortage of money and supplies comes as the year-round operation enters its busiest season: Christmastime. Give 2 the Troops already has requests for holiday packages from 125 units, and Whitehead said she only expects that number to increase.

"Can you imagine being in the desert or in the mountains of Afghanistan, cold at night, away from your family and friends, with no recreation whatsoever, except what comes in a care package. No holiday food?" she said.

Whitehead said she did not know why people have stopped giving to the group, but speculated North Carolinians' sense of urgency about troops' needs might have abated with the return of the 82nd Airborne Division.

"For some reason, people have stopped resounding to the needs of our deployed military," she said.

Although Whitehead's Army son returned from war two weeks ago, she pointed out that more than 167,000 U.S. troops are still in Iraq and 26,000 in Afghanistan.

"I don't want to send a message to the troops that North Carolina does not care," Whitehead said.

Businesses are encouraged to sponsor postage for a week or a month. Employees could also pack a stocking full of goodies.

Monetary donations, handwritten cards and letters can be sent to:

Give2TheTroops, Inc.
ATTN: Barbara Whitehead, NC Branch Director
3109 Landmark St.
Greenville, NC 27834

Needed Christmas Items

  • Stockings
  • Garland, miniature trees, ornaments, and other decorations
  • Pocket games, and board games
  • Electronic hand-held games

Other Popular Items

  • Protein-rich snacks, like peanuts, granola bars, sausage sticks, tuna in pouches, trail mix, exercise bars
  • Flavored drink mix pouches that simply be poured into a bottle or camel back of water.
  • Hard candy
  • Popcorn
  • Microwavable pasta bowls or macaroni-and-cheese

For other ideas, click here.


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  • wsareweak Nov 10, 2007

    Actually, after re-reading that post, it does not say anywhere in it that he was not going to make a donation. More of a general description of why the country as a whole has less money to donate. Although after Tmedlin's berating of him, if I was him, I would most definately NOT be making a donation. God job Tmedlin. Also, he is the guy raising money for the scouts, I am sure he would have been more than willing to help this charity.

  • wsareweak Nov 10, 2007

    What I found to be most distasteful is the way Tmedlin berated that person becuase they explained that they were not able to help this year because they had a child to feed. In all honesty, you have to look out for your own before looking out for others.

  • wsareweak Nov 10, 2007

    I don't see anything negative about the first post. Looks like just a reasonable explaination as to why people don't have the money to be as charitable as they normally would be. If you have extra money, good for you

  • abf1 Nov 10, 2007

    It's too bad that we have to have "negative nellies" on here such as the first post. Thankfully there aren't too many folks out there that feel and think the same way. As for me and my family, we will do our part! Hooah!

  • Deb1003 Nov 10, 2007

    PS....to add, it also makes one feel good about helping out the soldiers to defend our liberties.

  • Deb1003 Nov 10, 2007

    I've set up automatic payments through my bank to contribute weekly. When you donate a small amount each week, it isn't so hard on the budget and like saving, it adds up. Just a suggestion.

  • wsareweak Nov 9, 2007

    "Stop busting on illegals" and "START NOR-PLANTING (OR STERILIZING) the men/women who have child, after child, after child, after child.........and expect our tax dollars to support them"

    Seems you contridicted yourself in the same paragraph, since the illegals are the ones having all the "anchor children" and expecting the rest of us to support them on welfare

  • wsareweak Nov 9, 2007

    If you want to see why charities are having a hard time go to the link and see what the stock market is doing lately.


  • wsareweak Nov 9, 2007

    howdiditgettothis, speaking of people wanting the government to pay for everything, 20/20 is doing a story about that right now on channel 9 cable

  • wsareweak Nov 9, 2007

    corporations and hard labor???? That's an oximoron