MCCOOK, Neb. (AP) — Annie Trail of McCook started the 2013 Christmas season planning to mail 150 "care packages" to three "adopted" chaplains serving with the U.S. military in the Middle East.
However, one of the adopted chaplains thought he might not be deployed right away, so Annie requested the name of one more chaplain.
"But I got the names of two chaplains! How could I pick just one?" she asked, grinning, with a twinkle in her eye.
Then the first chaplain was deployed sooner than he thought, so now Annie's up to five chaplains.
The McCook Daily Gazette reports she plans now to mail at least 200 boxes, instead of 150.
"This community has been so totally awesome," Annie said, "that I have no qualms about mailing packages to five chaplains instead of three."
Annie had her first "packing party" last week. "We prayed over all the boxes before we started packing," Ann said, "and each has a ribbon cross bookmark in it."
Each box is packed with a variety of personal care items such as chapstick, deodorant, hand and foot warmers and razors, body wash.
The list continues: CD music, game books, crossword and word searches, Sudoku.
Foods, beverages, Coffee Mate and coffee, all flavors; hot chocolate packages, hot cider packets, single drink mixes for water.
Convenience foods such as individual cups of macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles, microwave popcorn, power bars, granola bars, individual packages of trail mix and nuts, chewing gum, all flavors of sunflower seeds. "Oh, they love hot sauce and salsa," Annie said. "And beef jerky. They love beef jerky. And squirt cheese and crackers. Oh, and sardines and Spam — all flavors of Spam."
Each box costs a flat rate of $14.85 to mail. She plans four packing parties, this week and next week, to ensure that the packages arrive before Christmas.
For more information on Annie's project, to volunteer to help pack, or to make a monetary donation to help pay for shipping, call her at (308) 340-3578.
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