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November 1 - 14, 2008 5
Gifts from home cheer troops
Volunteers for “The Patriotic Project for Soldiers” personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, according
hope to send shipments of items to an operating U.S. to feedback Demaray gets from military personnel
military base in Iraq to arrive before the Thanksgiving and their families receiving care packages assembled
and Christmas holidays. In September, volunteers and shipped by seniors volunteering at the Chandler
from the group shipped 42 boxes of donated items to facility.
troops overseas. A recent email to Demaray from the wife of a Valley
“The Patriotic Project for Soldiers was spearheaded soldier deployed in Iraq demonstrates the troops’
by one of our patrons who is a veteran, John Curry, reaction to the donation campaign.
and many others have stepped up to help out,” says “My name is Sandra Patrinicola, and today I
Denise Demaray, manager of the Chandler Senior received an email from my husband, Thomas, who
Center, which headquarters the group. is deployed in Iraq. The email was forwarded coming
Collections are now underway. In addition to a originally from you, showing a board with banners and
wide variety of food and personal items, the project pictures. On one of them was my husband!!! … I was
also accepts Visa or MasterCard gift cards that are
Submitted photo
amazed that there (are) folks out there who support
used to cover shipping costs. The senior volunteers
SUPPORTING TROOPS: A display at the Chandler Senior Center
chronicles the group’s campaign to send “care packages” to U.S.
my husband like this! He is a good man and we have
also encourage Chandler residents to provide the military personnel deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. been separated for nine months now. We have three
project with names and addresses of members of the children, Olivia, who is 6, Noah, who is 3, and Liam,
community, or their troop numbers, who are currently available by calling 480-782-2735 or online at who is 1-and-a-half. With supporting a deployed
serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. soldier like this, you are also supporting the family
“Our senior volunteers really want to help all of our Food items needed include canned nuts, beef jerky, that stands behind him. It means very much to me
soldiers, but it would be very special to help out those trail mix, chewing gum, dried fruit, instant coffee, that the guys are not forgotten – especially with other
with close ties to Chandler,” explains Demaray. “Now granola or cereal bars, powdered drink mixes, instant things being more important on the news nowadays.
we are asking the community to join us in supporting soups and oatmeal, candy, crackers and canned goods. Thank you and God bless you all.”
this worthwhile project.” No pork or pork products should be included. The photo Patrinicola cites is part of a display at
Donations can be dropped off at the Chandler Toiletries include feminine hygiene products, liquid the center chronicling the shipment of the gift boxes
Senior Center at 202 E. Boston St., between 8:30 a.m. body soaps, sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellant, eye to Iraq and Afghanistan detachments. Among those
and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Goods are drops, hand sanitizers, cold and cough medicines, pictured is U.S. Army Maj. Ciro Stefano, 33rd Brigade,
also accepted at any City of Chandler community or pain medications, bandages and many others. who forwarded this message to Demaray.
recreation center. Additional items that would be benefi cial are books, “Please thank all of the wonderful people you work
“The City is proud to join forces with our senior CDs, AA batteries, electronic board games and puzzles, with and tell them that not a day goes by that I don’t
center volunteers to collect these donated items at two pens and pencils, stationery and notebook paper, thank God for all of you, and I pray for you nightly.
of our largest special events,” adds Hermelinda Llamas, shower fl ip-fl ops, socks, undershirts, footballs and Thanks for everything you do for each of us deployed
Chandler’s special events coordinator. “Attendees can Frisbees. A complete list of suggested care package and for the love you share with each other. I am
drop their donations off at our information booths at items is available at touched to have been blessed by you and will never
Woofstock on Nov. 5 at Tumbleweed Park, and at the adults or donors can call the center at 480-782-2720. forget it!”
Tumbleweed Tree Lighting and Parade of Lights on More information on the program is
Dec. 6 in downtown Chandler.” Donations appreciated by all available by calling 480-782-2722 or online at
Details on both of these events are Little things do mean a lot to Chandler military
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