(Nov. 29, 2019) The American Legion Synepuxent Post #166 will be collecting items for military members deployed overseas this holiday season for the 11th consecutive year.
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.
“We have a lot of military people that are deployed all over the globe,” organizer Sarge Garlitz said. “There are certain [supplies] that they can’t get because of the war or the combat areas.”
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.
Organizers aso are asking for entertainment items such as 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.
Currently, the American Legion has already packed around 100 boxes and plans to pack another 200 or more by Tuesday, Dec. 3.
“Every box we send costs $18.40 or something like that for postage,” Garlitz said. “Each box we can put in anywhere from 50 to 70 dollars’ worth of stuff, depending on what their needs are.”
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, Pit N’ Pub on 28th Street and the Minute Man Press of Ocean City on 120th Street. All supplies will be collected on Saturday, Nov. 30.
“Ocean City, it is very, very veteran friendly, and the community likes to be part of it,” Garlitz said. “I have a saying that, ‘Every day is Veteran’s Day in Ocean City, Maryland.’ The community loves to help, they want to be part of it. I talk to people year-round who want to know if we need anything for the troops.”
Last year, 300 boxes were sent around the globe. This year, the Connections Club at Stephen Decatur High School has already collected about 35 cases of items for the initiative and donated money to help with shipping costs, Garlitz said.
“We had three SUVs full of items … we couldn’t [fit] anymore,” he said.
If any items cannot be delivered, call Garlitz at 443-735-1942 or email him at email@example.com.
The boxes will be packed on Sunday, Dec. 1, and will be shipped on Monday or Tuesday.