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Volunteers Send Troops Care Packages For The Holidays

The holidays can be difficult for military families away from home, that’s why a group of Central Coast volunteers are working to make it a little bit easier.

The groups Santa Ynez Valley Support The Troops and Santa Barbara Angels packed 166 care packages with warm clothes and goods for military men and women in war zones on Wednesday.

Volunteer Sandi Owens, said, “I have one grandson that’s an Army Ranger and my father was an Air Force Navigator.

The military is a large part of Owens’ life so she knows firsthand how special the care packages are for the troops.

A majority of the packages will be shipped to Afghanistan; others will go to Pakistan, Korea, and the Philippines.

“We try and send to those who are at the tip of the spear,” said Pat Sullivan, “In other words they’re not near a large base where they can readily buy everyday items that we take for granted.”

“We all try to put a special note in,” Owens said.

Owens said when military men and women write back, “They say thank you for taking the time for giving us these things because they’re special to us,” she added, “And hearing from home is very special.”

The boxes include winter essentials and a touch of Christmas.

Pat Sullivan with the Santa Ynez Valley Support the Troops said, “I have been getting up to 200 requests a month.”

Sullivan said aside from winter essentials like socks, liners, and gloves, a large donation of candy made it possible to send a lot of candy overseas.

“They all love candy,” Sullivan said.

Also in the shipment, was a box of dog toys for military K-9’s and beef jerky to give troops a little feel of home.

Sullivan said “We also send them a 300-minute calling card so they can call home for the holidays.”

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