Monday, December 10, 2012

More than 1,000 care packages boxed for troops overseas

Hundreds of volunteers lined up at a Napa church on Saturday to fill 1,050 care packages for troops deployed overseas, all in an effort to make sure soldiers sent to Afghanistan and other countries are not forgotten this holiday season.

Operation: With Love from Home drew volunteers of all ages to CrossWalk Community Church on First Street, where they worked in a chain to fill U.S. Postal Service boxes with cards, toiletries, beef jerky, socks, candy bars, soups and other goodies.

“I’m elated,” said Liz Alessio, a community benefits coordinator for Queen of the Valley Medical Center who coordinates the program.

The group, which recently announced donations were a third of what it had projected, was able reach its goal of sending at least 1,000 packages thanks to recent pledges, including charity organizations in Napa.

Among the volunteers was Vicki Langdale, a nurse at Queen of the Valley Medical Center, whose son, Jarrod Little, of Lakeside, Texas, was killed in Iraq in 2004 while escorting electrical engineers. Also present was Simri Casas, 20, of Napa, whose boyfriend, Marine Corps Cpl. Adalberto Espinoza, is deployed overseas.

As she distributed packages of instant coffee, Casas said she had volunteered to give back and “to let (the troops) know that we love them and that we’re thankful for what they do.”


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