McHENRY – There’s 109 reasons why many servicemen and women across the globe might be smiling soon.
That’s the number of care packages mailed Thursday to troops stationed as far away as Afghanistan and South Korea – an effort led by the Ladies of the McHenry VFW and American Legion auxiliaries.
“This teaches patriotism,” said Cindy Bateman, president of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary. “It lets these brave men and women know somebody is thinking about them and gives them a little something extra from home.”
The VFW Ladies Auxiliary has organized care package collections for more than two years, packing thousands of donated food and supply items before shipping them overseas.
The community, including local volunteers, schools, businesses and the McHenry Baseball Association, aided the most recent effort. The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office also provided transportation for the 109 boxes to the McHenry post office, and a chaplain from Centegra Hospital-McHenry blessed each package.
“The response has just been overwhelming,” said Barb Klapperich, president of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary. “A little bit goes a long way, and there’s no better feeling than doing something like this for our soldiers.”
Each care package was stocked with personal care and food items, as well as letters from area students and youth baseball players. More than 200 families, as well as businesses and other organizations, donated items such as baseballs, homemade washcloths and tuna packets, to name a few.
In total, shipping the boxes cost $1,466.05.
The care packages were shipped to local military personnel and will be shared with that soldier’s unit or company.
“It’s contagious,” McHenry Baseball Association board member Mike Gluth said of the effort. “All you have to do is ask, and people are willing to give back to those sacrificing so much.”