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Red Cross prepares packages for troops

by Darlene J. Taylor

STAFF WRITER

CLARKSBURG -- Would you like to do something to show appreciation to the U.S. troops?

The American Red Cross continues to collect and ship care packages to troops overseas. A recent drive was helpful in filling 57 boxes that will be sent out this week, according to Connie Hull, emergency services/Armed Forces Emergency Services director.

"We sent one big shipment out at Christmas. We've been collecting and shipping out little by little since then," Hull said.

The Red Cross is still accepting items for other boxes. There are about 13, 40-pound boxes that are not completely filled yet, she said.

"People have been fantastic about it. I was overwhelmed about the support we have received," Hull said.

She said the Red Cross is always in need of funds and relies on the public to help them mail out the packages.

"The post office charges about $70 for that size box," Hull said.

People can make a donation specifically for mailing the packages to the troops by earmarking it AFES.

The local Red Cross serves Harrison, Doddridge, Barbour, Lewis, Upshur and Randolph counties.

Many groups and individuals in those counties have helped to make the drive successful, Hull said.

The Red Cross is also using the latest in computer and telecommunications technology to allow military members stationed all over the world to send messages to loved ones back home during an emergency or other important events around-the-clock every day.

While serving 1.4 million active duty personnel, the Red Cross also reaches out to the 1.5 million members of the National Guard and the Reserves who reside in nearly every local community in America, according to its Web site.

Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services personnel serve in nearly 1,000 chapters in the United States, on 109 military installations around the world and alongside our troops in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

The local Red Cross office is located at 718 W. Pike St., Clarksburg. For more information, call 624-7689.

Staff writer Darlene J. Taylor can be reached at 626-1403 or by e-mail at dtaylor@exponent-telegram.com