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VFW Post Sends Care Packages to Troops Overseas

 Care Packages

Two years ago, VFW Post 1461 Commander Greg Kelm and his members decided to send a few care packages to troops overseas. Kelm and other Post members gathered names of soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan from their local area, Belvidere, Ill. They sent out the first few packages in May of 2007, and within just two years, Post 1461 has sent nearly eight tons of care packages to those fighting for our country.

“It was a little tough at first, but the outpouring of support from the community was humbling,” says Kelm.

It costs the Post about $1.05 per pound to mail the boxes they ship. Currently, their postage tab is up to about $16,000. Items like candy, gum, cough drops, playing cards, batteries, snacks and Chap Stick are included in the boxes. They also put a card in every box asking troops if there is anything else they need. Requests come back for things like notebooks and even bicycle tire repair kits.

Kelm says, “I believe since most of us received packages from home while we were overseas, we understand how we loved being remembered by our friends, family and neighbors.”

A little over a year ago, two local Deals stores helped collect items for the packages. Customers had the opportunity to purchase items at the stores to be sent directly to the troops, involving the community even more.

“The generous people from our area purchased over 6,000 items,” says Kelm. “Again, I was humbled by the generosity.”

Right now, Post 1461 sends packages to about 45 soldiers from their local area. Kelm says he hopes his Post’s effort will spark others to do the same.

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