Holiday treats will arrive just in time for Christmas
Mission Mahalo's Oct. 6 packing party, held in the King City Clubhouse, was a huge success as more than 200 boxes destined for troops overseas were packed in less than four hours!
The theme for this year's care packages was exclusively "morale boosters," with volunteers packing boxes with miniature sparkling Christmas trees, candy canes, delicious snack foods, gently used DVDs, magazines and comics.
Some of these items were specifically requested by troops, such as Spec. Kassiris, who wrote, "If anyone wants to donate DVDs that they don't want anymore, we have a little make-shift room that is for anyone here to use to watch movies.
We look forward to any future packages you may send! Take care and again tell everyone thank you!"
More than 90 volunteers committed more than 250 hours of service to set up and pack boxes plus assist with transporting the boxes to Mission Mahalo's base of operations.
Several service groups helped, including the King City Lions Club, the King City Travel Club, the King City knitting and crocheting group, and other local clubs that wanted to show their support for overseas troops.
Volunteers who arrived around noon got creative and decided to take boxes home to fill and bring back to the party.
Some went to the Dollar Tree and stocked up on Christmas decorations, food and other fun items to send to soldiers.
One item that has been a big hit with troops was mentioned by Spec. Gaddis: "The packages that I have received have been more than helpful. One in particular contained all the required items to make balloon animals.
I never would have thought that could make so many people smile, but it really did. The soldiers and I really enjoyed making them!"
During the months of October and November, hygiene care packages are being assembled that will also go out with the holiday shipments.
These include essentials such as baby wipes, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, hand warmers and fleece blankets to help the troops stay warm in the winter months.
"We did receive the packages, and just in time too," 2nd Lt. Schumacher wrote. "My guys were really grateful, and the comforts were definitely needed before travel. I left the female package in the shower room for the other six females on our small outpost to enjoy, and it was successfully raided within 24 hours."
For people who would like to still get involved with the non-profit Mission Mahalo, care packages will be shipped during the month of November. Items that can still be incorporated into the boxes include leftover Halloween candy, used DVDs, Beanie Babies, hand/foot warmers and handwritten letters to soldiers.
Also, Mission Mahalo sent out dozens of care packages to K-9 handlers in September filled with items paid for by people who donated money after reading about them in an article written by King City resident Isabel Torrey in the August edition of Guideposts magazine.
Grateful troops sent the following messages:
"Wanted to send some pictures out of the dogs and the packages that you have sent us. They are greatly appreciated by all. Thank you so much for your support."
From Sgt. Curtis
"To the great people at Mission Mahalo and their friends and supporters, Thank you, first off, for your kind and unselfish donations to our men and our K-9s.
It is a great joy knowing that Americans like yourselves are still thinking about the soldiers of this nation and taking your time and money to send us things that make our world here better.
Trust me when I say that our K-9s have appreciated the snacks and toys that have been sent so far. It's a joy to see their eyes light up when they have something new to play with.
For the most part we are staying safe here, and our dogs are keeping a lot more people safe. Again, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your packages."
From Sgt. Jay
Thank you so much for helping us support our troops, said Mission Mahalo President Jennifer Fair.
Monetary donations or items for humans or canines can be dropped off at 16685 S.W. King Charles Avenue, King City.