Gladstone's Camp Fire USA packaged and shipped more than 2,500 boxes of donated Camp Fire candy to troops overseas last week.
The amount marks a sharp increase over last year's 1,800 boxes donated and shipped. Community members, business leaders and corporations donated the candy, which was packed for shipping by more than 60 youth members and adult volunteers from both the Mt. Hood Council and Portland Council of Camp Fire USA.
The packing event was held on March 1 at the Barberton Grange in Vancouver, Wash. The City of Vancouver's mayor, Royce Pollard, was on hand at the event to show his support for the children and volunteers for their efforts benefiting the troops who are serving overseas.
In 2006, Camp Fire USA Mt. Hood Council partnered with the Vancouver Barracks 396th Combat Support Hospital to achieve a community service goal to increase gifts being sent overseas to deployed troops. Three years later, the partnership remains and Camp Fire USA members continue to encourage the community to purchase candy to be sent to the troops overseas. Camp Fire club leader, Cherie Mortazavi, originally spearheaded the venture and continues to coordinate this successful service project.
The project has added additional partners this year: the 104th Division-Vancouver Barracks, the Marine Corps League Auxiliary, the Navy Mother's Clubs of America, the Coalition of Troops Support, the 2nd Battalion 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team: Vicenza Italy, and the 1st Platoon 3rd Battalion 4th Infantry Regiment: Twenty Nine Palms: California, to serve as contact points with the military and to assist with the shipping processes. All branches of the Military are represented and supported by one or more of these organizations.
Camp Fire USA is a national, non-profit youth development organization that offers inclusive, co-educational programming for children and youths, preschool through 12th grade, and for families. Camp Fire USA's mission is to build caring, confident children, youth and future leaders.