From Mineola with love

Gift boxes headed to troops in Afghanistan

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U.S. military personnel serving in Afghanistan will receive dozens of boxes filled with Christmas treats from Mineola, courtesy of Ellen Jackson and First United Methodist Church.

On Saturday, church volunteers gathered at the church’s Ministries Center to prepare shipping boxes full of snacks and candy, toiletries and hygiene products, socks, pudding, cards and games, and many other items.

Jackson, the organizer of the event, said the goal was to ship 50 boxes. The boxes were expected to be mailed out Monday and arrive at a base in Afghanistan in time for Christmas.

She remembered being struck by a comment made by her son, who served in Iraq. He told that some soldiers serving in Iraq didn’t receive anything from home at Christmas.

More than 8,000 Americans are still serving in Afghanistan. Jackson was able to tap the generosity of fellow parishioners at First United Methodist to make sure at least some American service members there will receive Christmas gifts from home.

“People in the church donated the items and money for postage; they just stepped up to the plate,” she said.

Once they arrive in Afghanistan, the boxes will be handled by the base chaplain, who is expected to put them out in a common area, and the troops will be able to help themselves.

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