Local Volunteers Coordinate to Send Items to Troops, Donations Needed

A legislative Column by Assemblyman Will Barclay

This year, once again, my office will participate in the item drive for troops. The Pulaski VFW 7289 and the Ladies Auxiliary will send care packages and stockings to troops. Lois and LeRoy Bowen and the Ladies Auxiliary in Pulaski spearhead this special event every year. They are collecting donations again this year to let the troops know that we appreciate all that they do for us. My office has worked with the Ladies Auxiliary for the past five years on this project to help promote their cause and boost collections by spreading the word.

The troops appreciate the care packages. Soldiers often write letters, thanking the Post for their care packages. Others send group pictures back to the Post, with smiles on their faces, holding up items they received. We will be collecting donations until Dec. 9.

This is the time of year when we start to examine our own personal level of donations—whether it’s time, talents or treasures. It’s inspiring to see parents and grandparents use this item drive as a way to teach their children or grandchildren about giving. I’ve had young families come into the office with Halloween candy or personal care items. They bring their children with them to drop the items off and those kids are proud to give.

There are several other local groups preparing care packages for children and families that would otherwise have a hard time managing here locally as well. The Salvation Army and other groups participate in providing Christmas meals and toys. Toys for Tots collects new toys and books. Hat, mitten, coat, and boot drives can be found throughout the community. Other community organizations allow people to adopt a family. Some schools keep an anonymous list of families that are in need too. I would encourage you to call the local United Way, which can direct you to all of the non-profit community groups that manage giving operations during the holidays to find out more. The Onondaga County United Way can be reached at 315-428-2211 or at www.unitedway-cny.org. In Oswego County, the United Way can be reached at 315-593-1900 or at www.oswegounitedway.org.

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 email at [email protected] or by calling (315) 598-5185. You may also friend me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.