Last week, local veteran and former POW Alvin Schad helped KTTS kick off its Shoeboxes for Soldiers drive during a special radio broadcast. The Springfield-based effort has spread to the Barry and Lawrence County area, and area residents are being asked to once again participate in a Christmas campaign.
Boxes filled with items that soldiers would like to receive while deployed overseas will be collected through Nov. 11. Suggested items include:
* Clothing: tan T-shirts, flip-flops, white socks, Army-green socks, hats, gloves and blankets.
* Healthcare: body lotion, toothbrush, tooth paste, contact lens saline solution, Band-Aids, surgical tape, gauze, Tylenol, Tums, allergy/cold medicine, Gold Bond foot powder, Lotriman Ultra, baby wipes, sun block, Chapstick, deodorant, razors, eye-drops, Ben Gay, Icy Hot, Q-tips and supplies for a female soldier.
* Snacks: beef jerky, dried fruit, Pop-Tarts, hard candy, mixed nuts, granola bars, Fruit Roll-ups, Ramen noodles, tuna in a pouch, gum, mints, powdered drink mixes and nonperishable food items. (No glass and no pork products.)
* Morale: AA and AAA batteries, board games, word search books, Sudoku puzzles, CDs, DVDs, disposable cameras, pens and pencils and handheld games.
* Supplies: duct tape, electrical tape and super glue.
A "Thank You" card is also nice to include with the box.
The priority mail boxes can be obtained free at the post office. The boxes measure 12 inches by 12 inches by five inches. If someone cannot get a priority box, they are welcome to donate just the items needed to fill the boxes.
Boxes and donated items are being collected at the the UMB Bank on Broadway in Monett and the National Guard Armories in Pierce City and Monett.
The local effort is being orchestrated by a retired first sergeant from the Barry County area, who is passionate about this project but wishes to remain anonymous. Anyone who needs information about drop-off locations or about the drive itself can call 417-389-0517.