As political campaigns continue to heat up, debating issues of healthcare and the economy, Bank of America employees in Riverside are keeping their focus on the military troops deployed abroad.
Roughly 30 bank associates gathered in an assembly line to create 133 care packages to send along to active military overseas last weekend in Riverside.
The packages included such items as treats and snacks, puzzles, books and magazines — all donated by the employees themselves.
The effort was made more special when representatives from BARK arrived with hundreds of letters expressing thanks and support from area school children to include in the boxes.
“This started when one of our employees had a son who was serving in Iraq. We sent care packages to him and eventually expanded it to include his entire squadron,” said organizer Debby Vandergoot.
Six years later, the effort has grown to become a monthly event, with over 3,700 boxes shipped to troops serving abroad.
“We’ve committed to sending these packages until all our troops are home,” Vandergoot said.
The response has been tremendous so far.
“We have received so many letters and cards that tell us how much it means to them to know that people at home care about them,” she said.
Vandergoot, who is joined by co-founders Kathy Bailey and Irene Sotelo, said that boxes are packaged quarterly and shipped every month.
She added that anyone wishing to donate items for the care packages can email her at email@example.com.
Kerri S. Mabee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @kerrimabee.