(Nov. 30, 2018) The American Legion Synepuxent Post #166 has been collecting items for military members deployed overseas this holiday season for the 10th consecutive year.

“It’s for the good of the order and the good of the troops,” Organizer Sarge Garlitz said. “It’s a good community project.”

Items being gathered include food and drinks such as hot or cold powdered mixes, ready-to-eat meals, candy (no chocolate), gum, small packets of ketchup, relish, mustard, salt and hot sauce. Small, hard containers (no bags) of pretzels, chips, nuts, snack cakes, cheese crackers, cookies, energy bars, tuna, sardines and nonperishable beef jerky are also being collected.

In addition, personal care items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, cotton swabs, shaving lotion, disposable razors, shampoo, individually wrapped packaged tissues, eye drops, lip balm, lotion, aspirin or other pain relievers, feminine hygiene products and individually packaged baby wipes are needed as well. All personal hygiene containers must be travel size and aerosol cans are prohibited.

Disposable hand warmers, goggle-size sunglasses, fingerless gloves, stocking caps, 100 percent cotton socks and underwear are also being accepted.

In addition, organizers are asking for entertainment items including paperback books, current magazines or comic books, crossword puzzles, word searches, jigsaw puzzles, games, foam footballs, basketballs, Frisbees, hacky sacks, playing cards, yo-yos, portable DVD players, CD players, DVDs, CDs and disposable cameras.

Moleskin, medicated foot powder, athlete’s foot ointment, paper, envelopes, pens, pencils, cards, children’s art projects and homemade cookies in airtight containers are also being collected.

All items can be dropped off at the American Legion headquarters on 24th Street and Philadelphia Avenue, the Boggs-Disharoon Post #123 in Berlin, the Bank of Ocean City in West Ocean City or 59th Street ,and the Minute Man Press of Ocean City on 120th Street.

Last year, 300 boxes were sent around the globe. This year, the Connections Club at Stephen Decatur High School has already collected about 39 cases of items for the initiative and donated money to help with shipping costs, Garlitz said.

“I’m sending about 300 boxes a year,” Garlitz said. “I’ll contact different military outfits who’ve been deployed in areas where they don’t have the luxury of everyday living. We find out what the needs are and we collect the stuff on the list. We’ll pack up [approximately] 100 boxes in about two hours.”

Items can still be dropped off until 2 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 1.

If any items cannot be delivered, call Garlitz at 443-735-1942 or email him at firstsgt166@msn.com.

The boxes will be packed on Sunday, Dec. 2, and shipped on Monday, Dec. 3.

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