ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A local organization needs help collecting donations to send to troops overseas. The Rio Grande Chapter of Blue Star Mothers is gearing up to send care packages to loved ones for Valentine’s Day.
Right now, the need is greater than ever. In fact, organizers say over the past eight years donations and money coming into the local chapter has dropped nearly $40,000.
“When I got involved I became the financial secretary, so I saw what was coming in as far as donations. We never had to go out and buy any of the snacks that we put in boxes. Between that time and now, we are about $35,000 to $40,000 below what we had in our checking account,” said Carol Sanchez, media chairman.
Sanchez’s daughter was deployed to Afghanistan eight years ago. Since then she’s been volunteering with Blue Star Mothers.
Over the years, she’s noticed the monetary and supply donations have dropped significantly.
She thinks that’s because people have forgotten about the men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq with everything else going on in the world.
That means they’ve had to cut back on the number of boxes that they send every year from about 2,000 to 1,200.
That’s why she and other moms are asking for the community to help donate nonperishable food items or money so that they can continue to receive letters like this one from grateful service members for years to come.
“Thank you so much for the care packages we recently received here in Korea. Many of my soldiers are new to the army and this base. Your boxes were well received and enjoyed. In the spirit of the holidays, our soldiers shared the packages with our Korean soldiers for whom many are away for their first season as well. Know that we are deeply appreciative of your efforts. Best wishes to you in 2018,” said Sanchez as she reads a letter aloud.
Sanchez says it costs nearly $6,000 to send 300 boxes, the bulk of that coming from postage. She says they’ve had to dig into their own pockets to cover those costs at times.
The next packaging event for Blue Star Mothers is on Feb. 24.
For information on how you can help, click here.