Supporting Our Troops Overseas This Holiday Season
Nineteen-year-old Jason, a member of Affinity Plus for three years, left in July for Afghanistan to support Operation Freedom Sentinel. The New Richmond, Wisconsin, send-off was an emotional one, as the town lined the streets to bid them farewell in what’s slated to be a 400-day mission.
Jason’s mother, Deb Minnick, says the community has come together this holiday season in a big way, and the support has been overwhelmingly positive. Minnick, along with many others and businesses, started collecting items for holiday care packages in August, and assembled the boxes in November.
“We put out a Facebook invite and had 27 people RSVP, stating they would come,” said Minnick. “More than 72 people showed up to help, with more donations in hand. We were done in three and a half hours.”
The Roseville Affinity Plus location helped collect various items for the boxes, including dozens of toiletries and travel-sized items. Minnick says care packages contain a variety of items including: American flags, Santa hats, snacks, deodorant, bug spray, sunblock, chapstick, lotion, hygiene items, pillow cases, socks, and so much more. The care packages also contain cards and notes of thanks from students and businesses, as well as a letter letting the soldiers know the businesses who donated to make the care packages possible.
“Being a military family gives you intense emotion of pride and fear at the same time. That energy has to be channeled into something positive,” said Minnick. “For me, this project was my way of supporting them and making a difference. I’ve met these men and gotten to know some of their families. The group who did this isn’t doing anything special; we are just supporting our troops who put their loves on hold to serve our country.”
Minnick says her son will return to the United States late summer 2020.