For the sixth consecutive year "Operation Sandbox," using specific donated items, will assemble and send care packages to deployed troops, notes area volunteer Randy Gaddo.
In the Coweta/Peachtree City area, monetary contributions or donated items will be accepted at local businesses from Nov. 1-30.
On Dec. 5, a local patriot who wishes to remain anonymous will deliver the items to a central staging area for packaging and mailing in time for Christmas, Gaddo said.
Co-founders Virginia Pearson and her daughter, Julie, started operation Sandbox in November 2004. Churches, civic organizations, businesses and individuals supported it. That first year they sponsored 32 extra large Christmas stockings totaling 420 pounds of items to a Marine unit in Iraq, where Julie's fiancé was serving his second tour.
What started as a one-time effort quickly expanded.
"It has been amazing to see the outpouring of love indicated by donations of money, time and items needed by our troops," say the organizers on their website.
"We send care packages to let our troops know they are deeply appreciated for the sacrifices they are making by serving our country," say the Pearsons. "We not only support Georgia's troops but all of our military."
The donated items are those that have been most requested by troops, and it varies from year to year. This year the list includes: food items such as toaster pastries, Ramen noodles and canned fruit; hygiene items such as shampoo, men's and women's deodorant and mouthwash; drink mixes; snack items such as Twizzlers and popcorn; and others. A complete listing of items will be found at local drop-off points, which include Miles Ace Hardware #1 in Peachtree City, Big Daddy's in Fayetteville, Cycle City Power Sports in Newnan, Discount Golf Shop in Peachtree City, Eye Care Plus in Peachtree City, Gilroy's Complete Hardware & Lumber in Peachtree City, Great South Harley Davidson south of Newnan, King's Custom Cycle in Fairburn, Peachtree Tan & Salon in Peachtree City, The Men's World Barber Shop in Fayetteville, and The Village Paint Stores in Fayetteville and Peachtree City.
For more information see the website at www.operationsandboxga.com or call 770-784-9155.