Join Friends of CHS in Supporting Our Troops
A record number of soldiers and canine units stationed around the globe received care packages from home, thanks to Friends of Coffey Health System. Approximately 195 care packages included snacks, books, magazines, toiletries, and much more—all donated by generous people throughout Coffey County and the surrounding region.
Most of the packages were sent to seven local soldiers and their troops stationed in Afghanistan and Kuwait. Packages were also in route to local soldiers stationed in Japan.
A unit of ten dog handlers and their highly-trained canines also received care packages. For the second year, The Kong Company, a Colorado-based manufacturer of dog toys and treats that are specifically recommended for military canines, generously donated a box of products to help with the effort.
“We couldn’t be more proud of our volunteers,” said CHS Chief Executive Officer Leonard Hernandez. “This labor of love keeps growing every year, and it is just amazing to see it all come together. Their hard work and generous community support will make the holidays a little brighter for soldiers stationed overseas.”
When the volunteers started the project in 2008, they compiled 18 care packages. With this year’s effort, the grand total comes to 966. It wouldn’t be possible without community support from civic organizations, businesses, school groups, and individuals who donated items and financial contributions to help with shipping costs.
“The outpouring was just great. This has truly become a countywide project, and has begun to grow into surrounding counties as well. I hope to see it continue to grow,” said Linda Booth, project coordinator. “We collected $3473 to help with shipping, and at least half of that came from individuals and organizations who gave whatever they had—because they wanted to help.”
Friends of Coffey Health System would also like to thank the support of our local businesses during the collection time. Hoovers Thriftway passed out fliers and allowed Friends of CHS to collect donations outside their store on three different Saturdays. All Coffey County banks passed out fliers, with several banks donating items as well. Supporting groups included all Coffey County schools, 4-H clubs, Rotary, Lions Club, EHU units, PEO, church groups, Wolf Creek, Coffey County Register of Deeds, and many more.
Schoolchildren throughout the county also wrote notes and drew pictures for the soldiers. On behalf of his unit, one soldier wrote, “Please know that your gifts do make a difference and many of the soldiers who have small children at home appreciate the drawings and pictures from such fine artists…I’m looking at those pictures right now and can feel my heart lighten at the thoughts of kids laboring over Christmas pictures. Please pass on my thanks to them and wish them a very Merry Christmas from the soldiers of 35ID Santa Fe.”
Additional names and addresses are also being sought of military personnel who are stationed overseas. If you know of someone who should receive one of these care packages, call Booth at (620) 364-8015 or the hospital gift shop at 364-2121 Ext. 4267.
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