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They’re lovin’ it: Local McDonald’s employees collecting for care packages to send to troops stationed overseas

April 28, 2013

PUNXSUTAWNEY— When most people think of McDonald's, they think of a place to grab a quick bite to eat. What they don't see or realize is that each person has a story to tell.

Everyone has something happening in their life that is affecting them.
Sherry Huber is one of those people.

She watched all three of her children get deployed to Afghanistan.
She felt the same angst and worry as many others who have a loved one fighting overseas.

It was while sending care packages to her children that she became aware of some fellow soldiers who never receive reminders from home.

"My son knows soldiers who don't receive letters or anything," said Huber.

The joint idea of sending care packages came when Punxsy McDonald’s General Manager Karen Love suggested to Huber about doing up boxes to ship over.

They ended up doing 20 to 30 boxes, and they estimate it will be the same this year.

They will be shipping big and small boxes overseas.

This year, they will be sending the care packages to a platoon led by Captain Charlie Brown.

Huber said that she doesn't know much about Brown, but was connected to him through the Family Readiness Group in Georgia.

The Family Readiness Group (FRG) is a command-sponsored organization of family members, volunteers and soldiers who help create a climate of mutual support.

Huber has been sending care packages for eight years to her own children but wanted to keep sending to those still fighting.

Thankfully, all three of her children are back home.

"We really try to get involved in helping not only the soldiers but the community," said Cheyenne Helman, shift manager at the Punxsy McDonald's.

Last year, the workers received a lot of thank-you letters from very grateful soldiers.

"It puts a smile on their faces," said Karen Love, Punxsy McDonald’s general manager.

So far, they are meeting with a lot of success in collecting what they need for care packages.

Customers and local businesses have been bringing in bags of stuff to be
boxed.

Tim Krise from Krise Bus Company will be contributing up to $300 to cover shipping costs.

Other businesses lending a helping hand include: Dollar General, Dollar Tree, The First Assembly of God in Walston, the Moose Club
and Jefferson County EMS.

Items the women currently need in order to complete the packages include hard candy, gum, sunscreen, single-serve food items, baby wipes and foot powder.

They are also sending greeting cards to the soldiers as well.

Right now, they are well stocked on personal hygiene items and have all they need.

They will be collecting items until May 6 and are encouraging people to bring in what they can.

"Whether its one little bag of something it adds up," said Love.

The soldiers love to get candy so they can pass it out to the children who don't know the privilege of having candy.

"This is a passion for us; we want them to know we are thinking about them," Love said, adding that the goal is to make sure the care packages are mailed to the soldiers by Memorial Day.

Anyone wishing to donate items may do so by dropping them off at McDonald's.

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