by Beth Townsend
Some see a need, others meet a need. When it comes to our soldiers, Christy Smith just couldn’t pass up on the chance to serve them as they protect us.
“It was January 2008 at a Baton Rouge Hogs Chapter Meeting. We were discussing our quarterly drives to collect items for soldiers, and that they needed a new leader to head up the project.” Christy recalled. “It was God, I just found my hand going up and tears coming down my eyes. Since He has shown his hand many times in this project.”
The next drive will be just in time to bless our soldiers for Christmas. One shipment will be for soldiers and their unit from the USS Harry. Additional packages will be sent to the Louisiana War Veterans Home is Jackson, La.
Though they send packages four times a year, the current drive to fill one-gallon zip lock bags with needed (and wanted) items will assist with the current need that will end on Friday November 6. “We try to make sure we get an individual gallon sized baggy for each soldier in their unit,” she added.
Items are easy to pick up and can be dropped off at the Baton Rouge Harley Davidson off of Siegen Lane any time between now and November 7. Needed items are cookies, protein bars, beef jerky, water bottle drink mixes, trail mix, individual coffee, toiletries, canned meats, hand cream, hand sanitizers, playing cards, puzzle books, pens, pencils, prepaid phone cards, small tablets, razors, crackers, and the like.
“They love chips, especially Zapp’s,” she laughed. Gospel tracks are also included in every bag, ensuring to make sure each soldier hears about Jesus and His love for them.
Christy added, “Ninety percent are between 18 and 21 years old. It’s amazing, they are babies!” she said. “It is like Christmas for them from what they tell me, and it doesn’t take much to let them know we care about them.”
On Nov. 7 they will be stuffing care packages for 41 sailors on the USS Harry Truman and 133 Veterans. They need items for 10 female sailors and 3 female veterans. All items for these packages are due on Nov. 7, and they invite area volunteers to come and help stuff bags and get the packages ready to mail. Items can be dropped off at Temple Baptist Church, as well as Sharon Baptist Church, or can be picked items up from you if needed. For additional information or to help stuff the bags, contact Christy Smith at email@example.com.
“Some have said, ‘I haven’t gotten any other mail, all my family is gone, nobody writes to me, my father just passed; your track was such a blessing to me.’ Sometimes they will send pictures and even flags. We are just trying to bless those out there that are trying to protect us here,” she said.
Monetary donations can be made through Temple Baptist Church (3650 O’Neal Lane, BR 70816). “They have been gracious to setup a mission account for us so we can take tax deductible checks. When we get money, we use it for postage (which is very expensive) or to go buy stuff that we still need.”
Additional drives are in February, May, and August. Drops offs are appreciated all year. Simply label it “Soldiers”. Christy smiled and added, “I send small Christmas trees to them every November.”