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Local News July 16, 2009  RSS feed

NYC Joins To Send Packages To Residents Serving Abroad

New Yorkers Can Donate Throughout City

New York City has joined with American Recreational Military Services (A.R.M.S.) to launch an initiative— called Supporting Our Troops—to send care packages to each of the approximately 8,000 city residents serving overseas in the United States Armed Forces, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced.

"The freedoms we all enjoy, and too often take for granted, are protected by men and women who have volunteered to sacrifice out of love for this country. We owe them our prayers and admiration for defending our lives and our future," said Bloomberg. "The goal of the Supporting Our Troops program is to bring a little bit of home to the New York City residents bravely serving our country. We are asking all New Yorkers and visitors that can contribute to place an item in one of the collection bins. It's a modest gesture of appreciation, but one that could make a difference for someone who decided to sacrifice much of their own freedoms so we could have ours."

"It's an honor to be working with the Mayor's Office on this endeavor to support our troops from all branches serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond," said A.R.M.S. Director Ronnie Micciulla. "It means a lot to service members to be supported by people at home—they know they're not forgotten. To quote one of our soldiers in a thank you letter to us, 'Soldiers young and old always look forward to getting a letter or package in the mail. It puts a smile on their faces every time. Keep them coming!'"

The Supporting Our Troops initiative will place collection bins at locations throughout the city where New Yorkers and visitors can donate items most requested by service men and women, which includes:

Consumables: gum, candy (no chocolate), cough drops, ibuprofen (no aspirin and single-use sealed packets only), non-perishable food items, cookies, crackers, powder drink mixes (in boxes of individual packets), instant coffee or tea (individual packets), microwaveable soups (non-perishable, single-serving), pasta, popcorn, sealed nuts and dried fruits, granola, and protein bars.

Hygiene: soft toilet paper, tissues (individual soft packs), toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, saline eye drops, body cream (travel size), lip balm stick, razors, bug repellant wipes, shaving cream (travel size), shampoo (travel size), conditioner (travel size), feminine products, baby wipes or alcohol wipes, talcum or cornstarch powder (travel size), foot powder (travel size), cotton swabs, bar soap, and deodorant.

Entertainment Items: gift cards for music or movies redeemable online, movie DVDs, audio books, puzzles or Sudoku, magazines and newspapers.

Miscellaneous: men and women's New York City sports team paraphernalia, air fresheners (non-aerosol) and hand and foot warmers.

Canned goods donations are prohibited.

Donations will be assembled by NYC Service volunteers, the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs and A.R.M.S. into care packages and mailed overseas. The first phase of collections will be at locations throughout the city, including at all NYPD precincts, all firehouses, at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal and in city offices, beginning July 13th and lasting through August 21st.

More than 300 bins will be placed at locations throughout the city. A complete list of collection bin locations and service members' most requested items can be found at www.nyc.gov or by calling 311.

The second phase of collections will feature donation boxes at city public schools to encourage students, parents and faculty members to donate requested items and to volunteer in packaging the goods. Donation bins will be placed in select schools when the academic year begins and all care packages will be sent out in time for Thanksgiving.