Local dealership collects for soldiers#039; care packages

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Want to make the holidays for a serviceman or woman deployed overseas a little brighter?

If so, Operation Gratitude is looking for (more than) a few good folks to help the cause. The non-profit organization sends care packages to troops stationed overseas, and they are partnering with Jeep dealerships throughout the nation to solicit items to fill those packages.

&#8221We are very excited and proud to be a an official drop-off point for Operation Gratitude. This is a great cause I believe many people in our area will want to support,“ Charles Haigler, owner of Greenville Motor Company, the county's Jeep dealership, said.

The local dealership hope to have the brand-new 2006 Jeep Comanche on display on Saturday at this weekend's blues festival, where they will also take donations of items on Operation Gratitude's Wish List.

Among the items included are DVDs, CDs, disposable cameras, prepaid phone cards, handheld electronic games, ready-to-eat tun or chicken salad kits, boxes of Girl Scout cookies, bandana coolers and other personal cooling products, Beanie Babies, novelty items and commercially wrapped individual packets of trail mix, beef jerky, nuts, energy bars, sunflower seeds and candy. To see the complete list of items, go to www.opgratitude.com and click on &#8221wish list“ at the top.

(No toiletries or stationery are currently being accepted.)

Donors are also encouraged to submit unsealed notes and letters expressing appreciation and encouragement to the soldiers serving overseas. In the past, service members have written back to thank OG for the morale boost it has given the military units who have received their &#8221comfort care“ packages.

&#8221We encourage everyone to come on out this Saturday, stop by and see the new Comanche and donate an item to help a one of our own overseas,“ Haigler said. For more information, go to www.opgratitude.com.