Packages for troops filled with necessities — and gratitude

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By Sandy Barnes

Evergreen resident Jane Lynch said she is thrilled that President Obama is planning to bring American troops back from Afghanistan by 2014. 

In the meantime, Lynch and her friends are mailing care packages to soldiers in the war-torn country and to those still stationed in Iraq. 

“I’ve been wanting to do this for years,” said Lynch.

After mentioning her idea to friends a few months ago, Lynch said her dream has become a reality.

Working with friend Bonnie Rose, whom Lynch calls her “right-hand wingman,” she created an extensive list of items she discovered soldiers need. 

Lynch said that, after doing research, she was surprised to learn that the most-wanted item is baby wipes, which are needed for bathing. 

Second on the list are funnels that soldiers use to direct water into containers when the water truck arrives.

“Toiletries are also big,” Lynch said.

The 10-page list from which Lynch and her friends have been working also includes requests for a battery-powered alarm clock, insect repellent, flea powder, flypaper and games. 

With help from Rose, whose son is in the military, Lynch chose three soldiers as recipients for the packages.

Since beginning her project in May, Lynch has collected numerous items, including donated goods from Evergreen businesses. Seasonally Yours, Java Groove, the Ice House, Boone Sporting Goods and the Evergreen Animal Protective League thrift store have contributed items for the care packages.

Along with Rose, friends Mary Lou Powell, Arlene Hoagland, Ria Schottmuller and Jennie Powell have helped with the care packages.

Lynch has done much of the preparation herself. She has baked brownies, made peanut brittle and rice crispy treats for the mailing, and also washed and ironed T-shirts from the thrift shop, which she was sending to the soldiers.

A special inclusion in the package is a handmade card that Lynch created, which she circulated to people in Evergreen and asked them to sign. The card features a crossed blue ribbon and a quote from Cicero: “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

Lynch is also including in the package a copy of a column titled “Don’t forget: There’s a war going on,” which appeared in the Sept. 12 edition of the Canyon Courier. Written by former state representative Rob Witwer, the column reflects on the sacrifices soldiers are making and the gratitude Americans owe them.

Lynch was also planning to use old copies of the Courier as packing material when getting the packages ready to mail last week. She said she is hoping to collect items for a second mailing in the coming months.

“It’s been such a joyous experience,” said Lynch.

“Another goal of mine is to adopt a few soldiers that are home,” she added.

Contact reporter Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreenco.com or call 303-350-1042.