PASR encourages support of troops

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Due to increased interest from the public, as well as continuing requests from soldiers, the Jefferson County chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (PASR) is again sponsoring a Support the Troops project for military personnel serving in Afghanistan.  

From now through March 30, a county-wide drive will seek to collect a wide variety of food and hygiene items, as well as stationery and recreational supplies. 

Early in April, the contributions will be sorted and taken to the Soldiers’ Angels’ office in Indiana where other volunteers will package the merchandise for shipment abroad. Chaplains and army officials will then distribute the gifts to the troops.

Through the efforts of PASR, collection boxes have been placed in Punxsutawney (Comet Market, County Market); Brookville (Rebecca M. Arthurs Memorial Library); Reynoldsville (Mike’s BiLo); and Brockway (Brockway Drug).  

A poster on each box lists the kinds of items being sought; individual shopping lists are also available. Since it costs approximately one dollar to send each pound of donated items, those wishing to make a cash donation to PASR to help with shipping expenses should call project coordinator, Charlotte Fye, at (814) 938-6928.

Last year, PASR members themselves contributed more than $300 to underwrite the postage fees.

Commenting on the PASR drive, PASR President Goron Stuby said, “Many area residents demonstrated their desire to support the troops when our chapter conducted a similar project last fall. The response was tremendous. We were able to collect 50 large boxes of items that the men and women in the Armed Forces appreciate having since they are far from the conveniences of home. By sending snacks, toiletries, and other gifts, people here are able to show the troops how much we appreciate their willingness to endure hardships and to make sacrifices. We want them to know they have not been forgotten.”

Items needed for the Soldiers’ Angels program Items must be new and unopened. All items must be turned in by March 30.

• Food — Please keep in mind that all food items must be in the manufacturer’s original packaging. No chocolate — 110 degree heat and chocolate do not mix well, though M&M’s are fine. Snack sizes or small packages are best.
• Powdered Drink Mixes (individual packets are best).
• Red licorice twists.
• Wheat Thins.
• Cookies, crackers, pretzels (in snack sizes).
• Tootsie Rolls (both candy and lollipops).
• M&M’s.
• Tuna (in a pouch).
• Canned meats (no pork products).
• Triscuits.
• Beef, chicken or turkey jerky or Slim Jims.
• Microwavable popcorn.
• Snack cakes.
• Cheese spread (no aerosol cans!).
• Soups with a pop-top.
• Nuts.
• Ramen noodles.
• Instant oatmeal.
• Pop Tarts.
• Hard candy (individually wrapped).
• Instant soups in pouches.
• Gum.
• Granola bars.
• Peanut butter (small jar or individual size).
• Trail mix.
• Single servings of macaroni and cheese.
• Pistachios.
• Pudding cups.
• Raisins.

• Hygiene supplies — Ziploc bags make sure that potentially leaky items don’t make a mess during shipping, and service members use them to keep sand out of their things while in the desert. Toiletries should be travel-size, as service personnel have little room in their packs.
• Feminine hygiene products (small packages).
• Foot powder (travel size).
• Soap/body wash (travel size).
• Facial cleansing pads.
• Sunblock (travel size).
• Toothbrushes.
• Moisturizing lotion (travel size).
• Deodorant (travel size).
• Toothpaste (travel size).
• Wet Wipes, baby wipes, hand wipes (travel size).
• Eye drops.
• Dental floss.
• Shampoo and conditioner (travel size).
• Body/hand lotion (travel size).
• Lip balm.
• Nasal spray.
• Ziploc bags (sandwich, quart, gallon sizes).
• Disposable razors.
• Hair products (travel sizes).

• Fun Items
• Blank cards, stationery, paper, pens, DVDs, CDs, volleyballs, baseballs and baseball gloves, basketballs, Frisbees, soccer balls, disposable cameras, AA and AAA, C, D and 9-volt batteries, playing cards, games, small hand-held games.

Sponsored by Jefferson County Chapter of Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (PASR).