Shoeboxes for Soldiers

There is probably no lonelier time for U.S. soldiers serving overseas than the approaching holiday season. Spending Thanksgiving and Christmas far from home -- and, in some cases, in life-threatening situations -- can be hard on military morale.

But the kindness of folks back home can be shown in many ways, and the U.S. Army Reserve Center in Cape Girardeau has come up with a way to let men and women in uniform know they not only are not forgotten, but are truly appreciated.

The reserve center's Shoeboxes for Soldiers project is simple, and it is being copied by other reserve centers around the nation. Anyone wishing to send small items that mean so much to military personnel can drop them off at the center, 80 S. Plaza Way, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until Dec. 5.

In addition to items to be sent to the soldiers, the reserve center is looking for someone or some group to sponsor the postage for the project. Sending goodies will cost $1 a pound. Anyone who can help is encouraged to contact Capt. Elizabeth Sparkes, who commands the 348th Engineer Company of the Army Reserve.

So many items will cheer up soldiers when they receive this special package from home. Suggested items include personal hygiene items, DVDs, microwave popcorn, batteries, sun block, fly swatters, pencils, pens, notepads, envelopes, Christmas ornaments and CDs, playing cards, hot sauces, spices, magazines, Bibles, newspapers and candy -- but no chocolate, because it melts.

If you can help with this wonderful project, please hand deliver your items to the reserve center. Your thoughtfulness and concern will mean so much to those who serve our nation the year around.