As U.S. and Iraqi forces continue to storm Fallujah it's another sign for those back home that the fight is far from being over. Families worry about their loved ones’ safety and those overseas are struggling to find a moral boost.
Empty boxes will hopefully be filled with a few reminders that there's no place like home for the holidays. When a wounded soldier or other troop member gets a Freedom Package from Rockford, the contents make them most popular person around.
Linda Hayes, who started Freedom Packages, says, “We need to provide Christmas for these troops that are fighting for us."
Little things that we take for granted like AA batteries, movies and portable disc players are just a few of the most requested items this holiday season.
Linda says, "Telephone cards are also popular. They would like to call home. Everybody wants to do that and believe it or not microwave popcorn is also an item they like. It's a taste of home."
Linda Hayes has sent over 11,000 packages of goodies overseas thanks to the help of many volunteers and the community’s generosity.
She tells 23 News, "We have grown and grown. It's amazing how much people care and we give them a way to get product over there.”
Now she's looking to send 500 packages of holiday cheer, but she needs our help to provide the soldiers with some of the items that remind them of the support back home.
Anyone looking to contribute to Freedom Packages, donation jars and collection bins for supplies can be found Saturday, November 13 at the Riverside Wal-Mart from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.