LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin Police Department Cpl. Randy Brooks is enlisting the public's help in sending care packages to troops stationed overseas this holiday season with "Operation Christmas Blessing."
Brooks set to work on the endeavor earlier this month after an Army buddy alerted him to the fact that men and women Brooks knows personally will be spending the holiday season in Iraq - far from their loved ones and the comforts of home.
"As the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays approach, most of us will have an opportunity to sit with our families, eat some turkey or ham, and maybe watch some football and open gifts with our loved ones," Brooks said. "There are some that are not that fortunate. They have voluntarily given up these things that we take for granted to defend our country and our way of life."
The items that will go into these care packages, Brooks said, are everyday things that people likely already have around the house: Q-tips, Taco Bell sauce, magazines, DVDs, eye drops, and the most coveted item, baby wipes.
"If you look at the list of things, I would venture to guess most of us have access to them daily without a second thought," Brooks said. "I am asking for you to please donate these things to let these guys know we are still behind them and thinking of them during this holiday season."
Items needed inlcude: Baby wipes peanut butter, newspapers, magazines and books, playing cards, dominoes and games, powdered drink mix packets, eye drops, Tylenol or Advil, andy or gum (non-perishable and packed in Ziploc baggies), protein bars that won't melt (no chocolate) beef jerky, sunflower seeds, hot sauce, BBQ sauce, or Taco Bell flavor packets, cookies, 5-hour energy drinks, dried fruit and nuts, Ramen Noodles DVD movies, foot powder Q-tips, plastic model kits, glue, model paint, pillows, pillow cases, and sheets.
Items that cannot be sent: Pork products, obscene materials, anything depicting nude or semi-nude people, alcohol, perishable items, political or religious material. (They will not be allowed to pass through Customs.)
Donations can be dropped off with dispatch at Lufkin Police Department at 300 E. Shepherd Ave. in Downtown Lufkin through Dec. 7, 2015. Monetary donations to help with shipping costs will also be accepted. For more information or how to help, call 633-0321 or contact Brooks by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.