letters, collecting donations for Day of Service
While many local employees
and school children will be enjoying a day off Monday in observance of Martin
Luther King Jr. Day, one group hopes those same people will take a little time
to give back to the men and women of the United States military.
Iowa City Elder Services’
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program members will be partnering with the Iowa
Troop Pantry from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday at the Iowa City Public Library, 123
S. Linn St., to collect gift items and handwritten letters for deployed military
“Anybody can drop in and
write a letter to a soldier,” Elder Services RSVP Director Joan Cook said. “The
letters are very heartwarming.”
Monday will mark the third
year for the Martin Luther King Day of Service, and fellow organizer and member
of Organizing for America Rosanne Cook said the event has been well received
since it started.
“We just discovered that
there was a lot of enthusiasm for this event. We had a lot of volunteers come
in and write letters of gratitude,” she said.
In addition to handwritten
letters and drawings by children, RSVP also partners with the Iowa Troop Pantry
to collect gift donations for military personnel.
Top items being sought
include food products such as beef jerky, candy, mixed nuts or cans of ravioli
and soup, toiletries including toothpaste, foot powder and body wash, or
clothing such as socks and long underwear.
Maria Tyson, Iowa Troop
Pantry president and managing director, said the items being requested will
fill the void in more personal needs or creature comforts not typically
supplied by the military.
“They’re not supplied to the
military personnel that are over there so we’re trying to send some items that
alleviate some of the stresses of not having what you need,” Tyson said.
While the donated items offer
a helping hand to deployed troops, the letters and drawings offer an equally
valuable asset, Tyson said.
“They hang them up on their
walls and in their vehicles. The letters are big morale boosters,” Tyson said.