The American Legion Auxiliary members are continuing their efforts to support the troops overseas.

The American Legion Auxiliary members are continuing their efforts to support the troops overseas.

Friday, they packed 25 Christmas boxes for the Packages to War program.

“This is just the beginning of the Christmas collection,” said Judith Haffner, Legion Auxiliary member. “Verus (Bank) is helping as a drop-off collection site and financial donations.”
The bank has been collecting items since the end of October.

“I have been pleased with the response,” said Rhonda McAdoo, Verus vice president, of the donations they have received.

In addition to the individual donors, she also called Pioneer Balloon to see if they would donate some water balloons.

She expected to get one box of balloons from them, but what they sent over was nine cases of balloons.

Greene Vision also has helped with donations, giving eye care supplies for the troops, such as cleaner for the goggles.

In addition, the Sedgwick County RSVP program donated helmet hats to send over.

Boxes are tailored for any special needs and they also have feminine-themed boxes for the women.

The Christmas boxes featured Christmas candy, as well as a box of Christmas cards donated by Barbara Trent, Auxiliary president, that troops can send back to their family members.

“I know when our troops are out working in the field and have just been having a horrible, miserable week, they can go back to their bunk and have a box from El Dorado, Kan.,” Haffner said. “We try to think of all of the needs.”

They also each get a small American flag and handwritten note thanking them.

This shows the troops there are people who care and are thinking about them.

Every message or card they receive back from the troops are grateful for the donations and tell how they share all of the items with others in their unit.

“Everything is gone within a few seconds of when it is opened,” Haffner said.

Financial donations also are important. The cost to send the 25 boxes will be at least $300.

“We keep sending throughout the year,” Haffner added. “The community has been very supportive of us.”

After helping pack some boxes, McAdoo commented it touched her heart to see all of the items donated. She also went back to Verus and they decided to donate $200 for shipping costs.

The Legion Auxiliary is continuing to accept names of Butler County men and women serving in the active combat zones and combat support areas including Iraq, Afghanistan, aircraft carriers, war ships and other locations in the War on Terror. Please submit the troop member’s name, APO-AE address (along with your name and phone number for verification) to the American Legion Auxiliary of El Dorado, 1801 W. Central Ave., El Dorado, KS 67042. Names are accepted throughout the year and troops receive packages throughout their deployment.

The Legion will be accepting Christmas donations through Dec. 18.

The “Packages to War” program is a not-for-profit function and all donations go directly to the troops.