Local effort sends holiday cheer to troops overseas

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Local effort sends holiday cheer to troops overseas

UPPER TOWNSHIP – Since 2009, Robin McCauley has spent this time of year collecting candy, cards and other items to send to troops stationed overseas.

She started the effort, now called Project Love Cards, when her brother-in-law was serving overseas. As Christmas approached, she felt like she needed to do something to help service members far away feel a little more at home.

McCauley, of Tuckahoe, sent out 500 bags filled with candy, Johnson’s Popcorn, more than 2,000 holiday cards and games that first year.

“Local families with people overseas were able to pick up the packages and distribute them in their bases,” said McCauley. “Their response was overwhelming. They sent emails and letters thanking me. It was nice to know that I made a difference.”

McCauley has received a certificate of achievement from the Department of the Army, and a flag sent by the 328th Engineer Company Headquarters, which was flown over a base in Tallil, Iraq.

The effort has grown over the past several years. In 2010, McCauley mailed 1,000 bags with 2,951 cards to service members overseas. In 2011, she mailed 1,485 bags and 5,324 cards.

The cards are written as if she was sending them to a friend or member of her family, she said. They thank service members and encourage them, she said.

“I just want them to know we care,” said McCauley.

The candy and games are a nice reminder of home, too. McCauley said she usually buys bags of candy the day after Halloween, when prices drop, but that was difficult this year with Hurricane Sandy and the postponement of trick or treating.

“It was crazy this year,” she said.

Local firehouses and schools are pitching in, said McCauley. Her co-workers also help fill out cards and pack bags, she said.

Residents can also help out by sending in donations.

McCauley is accepting donations of candy, snacks and holiday cards where she works at South Shore Chiropractic, 1217 Rt. 9, Suite 101, in Palermo. She asks those interested to fill out a few cards, or drop off hard candy and snacks.

Monetary donations are also accepted to cover the cost of shipping and supplies, she said. Donations must be submitted by Tuesday, Dec. 4.

For more information, call 602-4830.

 


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