With Operation Iraqi Freedom going well, many local efforts to support American troops are winding down.
But it will be weeks, if not months, before troop withdrawals begin, so Crossroads Foursquare Church of Payson stills needs community support for its endeavor to send "Appreciation Packages" to specific soldiers with ties to the Rim country.
Diana Pattay, who is coordinating the Crossroads Foursquare effort, said the church has already sent 180 packages to service personnel whose names have been provided by local residents.
"It's been awesome," Pattay said. "We're sending to troops overseas even if they haven't been deployed to Iraq."
The church needs cash donations, as well as sunscreen, lip balm and small, travel-size containers of such items as handi-wipes, tissues, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, mouthwash and eye-drops. Wrapped hard candy, which is used as packing material, is also needed.
"We got donations from Bashas' and Safeway, but we've almost used up the candy," Pattay said.
Checks made out to Crossroads Foursquare Church with "Mission: U.S. Servicemen" written on them can be mailed to: Crossroads Church, 107 E. Aero Drive, Payson, AZ 85541.
Donations can be dropped off at the church, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday and Thursday. The Roundup also has a collection box for the Crossroads Church program located in the lobby of our office in the Swiss Village Shops.
For more information or to add a soldier's name to the list of recipients, call Pattay at 468-8794.
The U.S. government has also compiled an Internet-based list of resources and suggestions for supporting the troops called "On the Homefront." For more information, go to the USA Freedom Corps website (www.usafreedomcorps.gov) or call 1-877-USA-CORPS.
Operation Baby Wipes, a Care package operation conducted by Payson Elementary School teacher Laurie Pfarr, has been discontinued.