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USA Support Our Troops


Lion Mary Singer, Sunset Lions, Winona, Mn


I started my collection when my nephew SGT.Jesse Kapustik was sent to Iraq in January 2005. As I was packing a care box for him I felt inspired to take this to another level. I could arrange to send many boxes to stations around Iraq and Afghanistan. I took my idea to my church first and the response was excellent. As a member of the Sunset Lions I put together a plan to use lions toy barrels and approach local businesses to allow the barrels to be put in there business for one month after which time I would collect them and pack the boxes with the help of friends and family. I did my research to obtain a list of acceptable items , personal care items , dry foods, etc. The thank yous I have received from the troops were entirely unexpected . Their heartfelt messages speak of a deep appreciation for being remembered by the folks back home. It is a tremendous boost to their morale . They also thank me for the items I send and tell me that it is apparent I did my homework. Many , many people have pitched in to make this happen and make it a real success.
I collect funds in the Spring and the Fall and assistance from Lions groups throughout district 5m1, the local VFW, and others to support our soldiers, their families and veterans throughout the area . In the Fall I conduct my largest collection. The second week in November we go on a shopping spree and put together Christmas boxes that will include handwarmers for the cool winter nights and small toys for the Iraqi children as well as the other items we have been sending .I have been talking to Iraqi veterans to constantly update my list. I also include letters of appreciation from local school children here as well as students that are just a few years younger then most of the soldiers so they can ask questions and relate to them on the same level. I have been getting letters from all ages. If you would like to help in this very worth while effort your cash donation will be welcome and put to good use. Your donation of any amount may be sent to Singer Art Studio, 125 North Baker St., Winona, MN 55987. If you cannot donate but still wish to remember the men and women who serve you may write a letter of thanks and encouragement . Some soldiers do not have family members back home to write , send packages and just give them support. The thank you cards I collect are having a tremendous impact and also have led me to speaking to groups about the importance of patriotism regardless of political beliefs. I have recently extended my mailing list to include our servicemen and women in Kosovo and other difficult situations.
I cannot think of a better way to demonstrate the values that our country stands for then to join together and show our support and appreciation for the soldiers who sacrifice their comfort , their time and even their very lives to serve their country . This year I will also be giving thank yous and gas cards to the families of soldiers who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you wish to extend your thanks in this manner just let me know.

I wish to thank everyone who has helped in this effort in the past 4 years . It is impossible to name you all but I assure you the servicemen and women who have benefited from your efforts thank you very, very much!

Please keep all our men and women in uniform , especially those in harms way, in your thoughts and prayers.

Lion Mary Singer, Sunset Lions, Winona, MN

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Copyright 1976-2013, Mary Singer
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