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Marines Will Receive Local Care Packages

COLUMBIA - One local volunteer group is mailing care packages and support to those serving overseas.

http://www.komu.com/satellite/SatelliteRender/KOMU.com/ba8a4513-c0a8-2f11-0063-9bd94c70b769/5a659e31-80ce-0971-0043-f22db8216e08

Kasey Breda
Reported by: Kevin Lewis
Edited by: Sili Liang
Published: Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 6:31 PM

Although the parking lot had different cars and people, one thing brought them all together--The Care Package Project.

"We have people here today from Chicago, from Wisconsin, from Michigan, Louisiana," said Monica May, the Care Package Project manager.

Volunteers will put a variety of things including batteries, beef jerky, Chef Boyardee, and Jell-O into care packages.

The Care Package Project then sends everything overseas to America's bravest Marines.

A new record of more than 120 volunteers came out to help.

But for one local teen, volunteering was a new experience.

"Well I think it's kind of special that we all take a part in helping people overseas while encouraging them to do better. And to bring them home faster," said Tyler Embry, a first-time volunteer.

Marine parents send 1,000 care packages to the front lines five times a year.

Organizers say the Marines' favorite items are hand-written notes, and it's usually children across the nation who write those notes.

And that's where the letter-screening ladies come into play.

J.J. from Fort Collins, Colorado, sent along a little humor with his support.

"And he says to 'look on the bright side, you don't have to deal with the high gas prices,'" said Wanda Schmitt, a volunteer from Wisconsin.

But the most touching letter could be from Savannah.

Savannah is blind, but that didn't stop her from writing a letter.

With the help of a teacher, her note is brought into focus, both written and etched in Braille.

Once the letters are approved, they go to the mail room where they are signed and then soon to be delivered.

This program is just one portion of things the Marine parents do.

The group also runs a website that helps connect families of Marines.