Item Drive for Troops Makes Impact Abroad and at Home

By Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Pulaski)

For the past several years, the Pulaski VFW 7289 has sent care packages, stockings and Christmas trees to active military troops. Lois and LeRoy Bowen and the Ladies Auxiliary in Pulaski manage and spearhead this undertaking every year. They are collecting donations again this year to create care packages and stuff the stockings for the troops. My office has worked with the Ladies Auxiliary for the past four years on this project to help promote their cause and boost collections.

The troops are very appreciative of the care packages they receive from the post. Lois tells us that last year, one soldier wrote a letter, thanking the Post for the Christmas tree they sent, which was decorated with handmade ornaments. He said he’d all but given up on Christmas until he opened his locker and saw the tree that came from back home. He explained in his letter how much the tree meant to him, how it made his Christmas season and inspired him to give to others himself. Others send group pictures back to the Post, holding up stockings and items received. This means a lot to the people who donate their time and energy into this tremendous project.

I’m happy to help with this project and serve as a collection site. We hear news reports of how the war is progressing and where troops are stationed. Unless we have a personal connection to someone in the military, the public zeal for supporting our troops has diminished since the beginning of this war. If you have the means, I would encourage you to create a donation site at your place of employment, child’s school or your church. The VFW can travel to pick up donations if transportation is a concern. Donations must be received by Nov. 18 in order for the troops to receive them in time for Christmas. Also, anyone is invited to help package the items the weekend before Thanksgiving, Nov. 19-21 at the VFW in Pulaski. To see pictures of the troops who received packages in the past, visit

The following is a list of items needed for the troops:

· Handmade items, cards, cards from children, pictures from children. Lois says they love to get cards from the kids.

· Halloween candy, candy canes, individual packages of cookies/crackers, tuna and chicken kits, DVDs, CDs, puzzle books, writing paper, phone cards (AT&T works best), disposable cameras, gum.

· Travel-sized hygiene products such as shampoo, soap, deodorant, baby wipes, shaving items, feminine products, nail polish, nail clippers, candles, lip balm and eye drops.

· Soups and hot drinks such as tea, cocoa, instant coffee.

· Power bars, granola bars, dried fruit, slim jims, beef jerky, instant soup, individual cocoa packets, powdered Gatorade, Kool-aid, individual packets of oatmeal cereal.

· Monetary donations for shipping are also welcome. Checks can be mailed to Pulaski VFW Post 7289, P. O. Box 151, Pulaski, NY 13142. Indicate on the bottom “Christmas for the troops.” The Post is a 501-C3.

People may drop-off items at my Assembly office at 200 North Second St. in Fulton. The Camillus Town Hall, located at 4600 West Genesee St., Syracuse, is also serving as a collection site again this year. Items may also be dropped off at the Pulaski VFW at 4815 Salina St. in Pulaski.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (315) 598-5185.