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330 boxes packed for overseas troops

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This is just a fraction of the care packages that were boxed and shipped by local volunteers Saturday in conjunction with F.A.I.T.H. Military Support Group. Photo by Emily Banks WootenThis is just a fraction of the care packages that were boxed and shipped by local volunteers Saturday in conjunction with F.A.I.T.H. Military Support Group. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten

From Enterprise Staff

Over 100 students and community members volunteered their time to pack Christmas care packages for those serving overseas in the military Saturday in conjunction with F.A.I.T.H. (Families And Individuals Thanking Heroes) Military Support Group.

Three hundred thirty packages filled with toys, books, toiletries, food, coffee, decorations and all types of snacks and goodies were packed in assembly line fashion. The boxes also included homemade fudge made by the First Methodist Church kitchen crew and stockings handmade by members of the Livingston Piecemakers Quilt Guild.

“Thank you everyone for your donations, prayers and help packing. One hundred thirty-five packages were sponsored and donations for the remaining postage was received. What a great community we live in. It was controlled chaos but what a blessing,” Bea Ellis, a co-founder of F.A.I.T.H., said.

“Thank you to all the students and the parents who brought their children. The cadets from Livingston High School’s Navy National Defense Cadet Corps rocked it. To all who packed, thank you for your patience and help with all of it. A big shout out to Alma’s Donut Shop for the donuts. Most of all, thank you Jesus for the great weather. May God bless our heroes and their families,” Ellis said.

F.A.I.T.H. has been sending care packages every month since 2006. The organization was formed to provide encouragement and support to military personnel while they are away from home. They meet at 5:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of every month (except December) at Livingston Physical Therapy at 305 W. Mill St. in Livingston. In December, they meet at 8:30 a.m. on the first Saturday.

Each hero will receive three to four boxes during the holiday season, including a food box and Christmas boxes to share with their buddies.

Below are some of the thank you letters received from previous recipients of the boxes:

“F.A.I.T.H. Volunteers, Good morning! I am CDR Mark Moreno, the command chaplain at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. I want to thank you for your incredibly generous and copious packages! I work closely with the USO and Red Cross to help get these wonderful items into the hands of our service members. It means a lot to them, and to me, and I want to thank you for your support and encouragement. You are a patriot for not just saying you support the military, but doing something that directly impacts the military to lift their morale and let them know that many Americans are behind them. We have many members here from the great state of Texas, and I was raised in Houston. I miss Whataburger! :) Blessings on your week and thank you so much for your care for these sailors, soldiers, airmen and marines! Very Respectfully, CDR Mark Moreno, Command Chaplain Camp Lemonnier”

“My Name is SSgt Jeremy Trujillo and I was lucky enough to receive one of your packages for my platoon of Marines. Our SgtMaj actually signed up for this so I had no idea a package was destined for us. I opened the package this morning to give to all my Marines and they were excited and very appreciative for the time and care you all spent building these packages for us. They snagged up the entire box within a few minutes! It’s amazing to see and feel that there are still people that genuinely care and appreciate the Military. A little about us, we are with Engineer Maintenance Company, 3D Maintenance Battalion, and we are currently stationed in Japan. Our Company is filled with Many Military Occupational Specialties, and it makes us a versatile group that is able to complete some pretty remarkable things. Personally, I am a 1341, which is a Construction Equipment Mechanic, and I work on big tractors that are used for anything from earth moving to material handling. I just wanted to reach back and make sure we thanked you. I know you all take your personal time to do these things, and I want to make sure everyone that gets this email knows that it doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated. So again, THANK YOU for your package. Hopefully fall is much nicer where you are because its still hot over here. Have a great rest of the day!!”

“To FAITH Volunteers, Thank you for sending us a care package. My troops and I really appreciate it. Being here thousands of miles away fighting the desert heat and America’s enemies opening your package gave us a smile. Very respectfully, Lt  Mullick, Ph.D. USN”

“Good Afternoon from Al Udeid, I want to thank you for the care packages, everyone gets very excited every time a package arrives, definitely made our Monday. Unfortunately the person who they were meant for has already left, but we made sure to spread the boxes around for all to enjoy. I would like to request boxes for all the new service members that just arrived and will be here throughout all the significant holidays of fall and winter. I want to say thank you again from us all, your generosity is well received, and brings so many smiles. Very respectfully, ALAN”

“Greetings Again FAITH Group! Thank you all very much for the box full of coffee! Our unit continues to be very thankful for the care packages you have sent us. The Black Rifle whole coffee items were a huge hit with the flight! The box arrived on a Friday and the warehouse was full of energized smiles as we put the coffee to good use! We have a new rotation of members this summer. Whole Bean Coffee is still a popular item but also shelf stable snacks are welcome too. No one is too picky about anything. Thank you again for all your work in sending care packages. Very respectfully, SAMANTHA”

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