An organization in Ashland, Kentucky, is hoping to gain traction in Portsmouth, sending care packages to soldiers overseas.
Care Packages for Soldiers is now conducting its third annual drive to send items to service members stationed overseas.
Last year’s drive was a success creating more than 400 care packages to soldiers. This year Dixon’s goal is to send even more. “We sent 419 packages last year and would love to meet or surpass that this year,” she said.
Donors can now drop off donations at several locations across the tri-state, including the Roger Davis Funeral Home in West Portsmouth. The full list of drop-off locations can be found on the Facebook page, @CarePackagesForSoldiersKY.
Dixon started Care Packages for Soldiers in 2018 as a personal project. She knew she wanted to help others but was unsure how.
“I wanted to do something for my 30th birthday for a charity, but I wanted to do something different from what everyone else was doing online,” Dixon said. “My husband and I talked it over and after talking to some of my husband’s family members who were previous active military and had been deployed, we decided on care packages.”
Dixon and volunteers went to churches, schools, businesses and community organizations to ask for donations. They also attended political rallies and functions, asking for sponsorship money to pay for shipping.
“The biggest challenge is raising funds for shipping costs,” Dixon said. “Last year alone, the shipping costs were over $5,000.”
Along with donating items for soldiers, Dixon encourages individuals to write letters and send pictures to service members along with their donations. Letter writing proved to be particularly impactful to Dixon. She fondly recalled receiving a response after sending a letter to a service member thanking her for the packages.
“It’s rewarding knowing that I made a difference to someone who might not have anyone to let them know they are missed and appreciated,” Dixon said.
Donations for this year’s drive will take place until April 17, giving people opportunities to donate. There are numerous items that can be donated, including personal hygiene products, snack foods and letter writing supplies. A complete list of requested items can be found at the Facebook page @CarePackagesForSoldiersKY.
Dixon said the organization is also again accepting monetary donations to cover shipping, as it costs $17.85 to ship each box. The Facebook page includes a PayPal link for people to donate money online.
The drive will officially end April 17, but Dixon is hoping more locations in Portsmouth and Scioto County will become a drop off location or sponsor. Once the donations are collected, Dixon will hold a box packing event.
“The date for the box packing event has not yet been set,” Dixon said. “I am currently working out details for that, but I will keep the community informed when new details have been set for that.”
Once the care packages are all boxed up, Dixon hopes to have them shipped out to soldiers by the beginning of May. If a business would like to become a drop off location, contact Dixon at 606-694-6486.
Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927
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