A Lebanon scout hopes to makes the holidays a little bit brighter for U.S. military personnel serving abroad this Christmas.
Aiden Puccio, 15, a sophomore at Lebanon High School and a member of local Boy Scout Troop 360, is organizing a collection drive for the troops as his Eagle Scout service project.
“Last holiday season, about 1.4 million troops were stationed overseas, away from their homes and family, defending our freedom. Some of these soldiers never received any gifts or messages from home, but this year we can change that,” Puccio said.
Puccio hopes to collect enough items to send 30 care packages filled with snack foods, hygiene products, entertainment items and most importantly, notes from people in the community.
“This is an opportunity to make a small difference in the lives of men and women who are giving so much for all of us,” Puccio said.
Puccio selected names from all four branches of the military, soldiers who are serving all over the world, though the majority is stationed in Afghanistan. The names came from anysolider.com.
Collection boxes for letters and care items are at Asante Salon, D.T. McCall and Sons, New Image Salon, North Cumberland Gun and Ammo, Sparkle Cleaners on W. Main St., Superior Motors, the Indoor Gun Room, Toppers Music and Valley Growers.
Puccio said any support is greatly appreciated. Anyone with questions may email Puccio at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Troop 360 Scoutmaster Bart Sims at 615-414-3823.
The collection will continue through Dec. 5 in order for the packages to arrive in time for Christmas.
Suggested food items include powdered drink mixes, microwave meals, tuna packets, beef jerky, sunflower seeds, mixed nuts, dried fruit, peanut butter, popcorn, Nutella and Pop Tarts.
Other items include bags of hard candy, Beanie Babies – both to share with local children – Chap Stick, Wet Wipes, grease remover, non-aerosol Febreeze, body wash, foot powder, nail clippers and large or extra-large brown T-shirts.
Entertainment items include current magazines or newspapers, current DVD releases, AA batteries and iTunes gift cards.