Well, when it comes to the residents of Melrose Meadows and NHS students from Highland High School, the answer is about one hour and twenty minutes.
Our first box packing event was held Tuesday, October 5th at Melrose Meadows Retirement Community in Iowa City. The residents raised an enormous amount of funds to purchase supplies for care packages and postage.
Each care packages contained either Dinty Moore Beef stew or Progresso Hearty Chicken and Noodle Soup, Chef Boyardee Ravioli, RO*TEL Chilis and Tomatoes, several canned fruit options, individual Folgers coffee, sugar packets, creamer packets, salt packets, pepper packets, green tea, sunflower seeds, Air Heads, Pringles, Slim Jim beef sticks, Gardettos, gum, playing cards, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, Gold Bond Foot Powder, Body Wash, a shower loofa, and some notes and jokes from the residents.
As special requests come up we will add to each box to make it more personal. We look forward to the National Guard obtaining their APOs in the next few weeks. We hope to be sending care packages right out to them so they can enjoy them for the holidays.
This event was an absolute success and is exactly why we created the Iowa Troop Pantry. We wanted to get the community involved to support deployed service members from Iowa and make sure that they are not forgotten while they are overseas. It was amazing to see high school students right along side Melrose Meadows residents. It didn't even matter that there may be a sixty year age gap in between some of those volunteers.
Upon preparing to leave, Jackie Sullivan (who helped organize all of the donations from Melrose Meadows) asked the Highland High School students if they learned anything and if packing care packages made them feel more connected to the deployment. Unanimously the students replied "YES!" It was just about enough to make the Iowa Troop Pantry team cry.
We hope to host a public boxing event in the near future. Meanwhile, we are still available to receive donations at 201 E. Benton Street in Iowa City during normal business hours.
A very special thank you to those who make Iowa Troop Pantry successful and who are helping it grow throughout our state. Without you, none of this would be possible.
- The Iowa Troop Pantry Team-