From Enterprise Staff
The Families And Individuals Thanking Heroes (F.A.I.T.H.) Military Support Group will gather to pack care packages for members of the military at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 4 in the parking lot of Livingston Physical Therapy at 305 W. Mill St. and is seeking volunteers to come out and help. Snacks and drinks will be provided.
The group gathers to pack boxes on the second Thursday of every month except December when it meets on the first Saturday morning so the heroes may receive two packages in time for Christmas. They start with prayer and announcements and then begin packing the care packages which usually takes about an hour.
F.A.I.T.H. was formed in June 2006 to provide encouragement and support to military personnel while they are away from home. Each person on the list has a tie to Polk County, as each person’s address has been given to the group by someone locally. But not all heroes are from Polk County. The list includes all branches of the military and since 2006, F.A.I.T.H. has shipped more than 23,000 care packages to the troops.
A charitable 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the volunteers are individuals from the community showing respect to the men and women serving the country, as well as local church groups, service organizations, youth groups from various schools and the Livingston High School NNDCC (ROTC).
Since starting, only two months of sending packages have been missed -- once when Hurricane Ike came through Livingston and once during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the shortage of supplies.
Packed with love and support, the care packages contain Hormel meats and soup, peanut butter, snacks, hygiene items and various goodies to keep their energy and spirits up while they are away. The group tries to include as much protein as possible each month.
Postage for the care packages costs $17.80 for large overseas boxes and $13.75 for the medium domestic boxes, plus the cost of the products. The group is currently sending an average of 125 boxes per month. The average monthly postage cost is approximately $2,100. Although the community contributes items for the packages, additional items to supplement it are still needed. Approximately $2,400 per month is typically spent for the additional items, bringing the total to $4,500 per month. Expenses include postage, care package supplies and labels. All administrative tasks are donated. One hundred percent of all donations are spent on the care packages and postage.
Delivery of items and cash donations are taken at the Livingston Physical Therapy office at 305 W. Mill St. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays. The office is closed for lunch daily from noon until 1 p.m.