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Donations still needed for Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club’s Operation Military Care Packages

Phil and Valley Reilly, Pam and Fred Wasserman (Photo: Rob McKenzie)
Phil and Valley Reilly, Pam and Fred Wasserman (Photo: Rob McKenzie)

By Karen Billing

Staff Writer

Collection for the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club’s Operation Military Care Packages began on Oct. 24 and will run through Nov. 9. Longtime RSF community member Ginger Bord talks about the drive she hopes the whole community will participate in.
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What made the RSF Garden Club want to take on this project? Have you done this before?

We’ve never done it before. We were thinking about the community and getting other organizations involved and knew people will do anything they can do for our military. We loved the thought of having the Garden Club full of packing boxes. People in this community are so generous, patriotic and thankful, it just seemed like a natural thing to do around the holidays.

Why is this project important for the community to get involved in?

It brings the whole community together, it’s not just an isolated organization (doing all the work). It’s for something very worthwhile.

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Where are the boxes headed and how many will the Garden Club send?

All of the boxes are going to Afghanistan, at this point to three different units, but we’re hoping to send to as many as five units. We could up sending 30 to 90 boxes, depending on how much stuff we collect. The goal is to send as many as possible.

How did you know what kind of items the troops want? What do you have already?

One of the more unique items the troops want are flea collars to keep off sand fleas. During the day they hook them to their backpack up by their head or down by their ankles to keep off the sand fleas. At night they hook them to their sleeping bags. Petco, one of our corporate sponsors, has donated 100 collars to us so we’d like to have enough stuff to fill 100 boxes. If we don’t have enough boxes we will still send the extras to the captain and he will distribute them.

Trader Joe’s, another corporate sponsor, has donated snacks like cookies and granola bars.

The RSF Library Guild has donated paperback books.

What can people donate?

Foot and body powder, lip balm, sunscreen, bug repellent, large unscented wet wipes, deodorant, shampoo, toothbrushes, Q-tips, body wash (no pump), floss, razors, eye drops, throat lozenges, individual powdered drink mixes, tea bags or single coffee, beef/turkey jerky, nuts, sunflower seeds, plain crackers or stuffed crackers, candy and protein bars (no chocolate), gum, cookies, Pringles, small notebooks or writing paper, pens and unsharpened pencils, crosswords or word games, board games, playing cards, current magazines and cash for the cost of shipping (shipping will be $11 a box).

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Imagine what it would be like for you to be out in the heat, sun and sand. There’s no CVS or Target or Costco. These little things come as very, very prized items. I was told not to worry about what’s in each of the boxes, if someone gets something they don’t need they can pass it on to others in their unit. It will all get used.

Where can items be dropped off?

The RSF Library Guild will have a box upstairs and in the book cellar. The Rancho Santa Fe Community Center, the Shoppe at the Garden Club and the main Garden Club clubhouse will have boxes.

Also James Jam’s office at 16921 Via de Santa Fe. Jam is helping with the project, and his son Ari is using this as a service project at Canyon Crest Academy and will be collecting items there, getting students involved. He’s very excited about it and plans to have the students write notes and letters to the troops, as well as donating items and money.

A packing party will be held at the Garden Club on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11—11/11/11— at 11 a.m. For more information, call Ginger at (760) 761-0989 or La Verne Scholsser at (858) 756-4529. Information is also available at

www.rsfgardenclub.org

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