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Gifts being collected for Marines

A local Marine recruit who will graduate basic training Sept. 3 has inspired his family to collect gifts for his classmates who won’t have family support at graduation.

Recent Pleasant Home High School graduate Austin Butts will have the opportunity to spend family day at Parris Island with his own family, but his mother, Kim Smith, said there are many recruits who will be alone.

“There are some recruits who won’t have family there,” she said. “We are taking donations for Stand Alone Marines (SAM). We will make goodie bags to give them something to make their journey home a little easier. Most of them will either fly home or ride a bus by themselves.”

Smith is organizing a “make a SAM bag” fundraiser. Anyone interested in helping can donate items such as beef jerky, chips, cookies, puzzle books, fast food gift cards, paperback books, disposable cameras, calling cards, tissues, gum, tuna packets, trail mix, hand sanitizers, Gatorade, water, cough drops, handwritten notes and congratulatory cards and even cards made by school children.

Anyone who is interested in donating can drop the items by the Star-News to Lisa Pickron, office manager.

For more information, e-mail Smith at smith1604@comcast.net.