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Whitin Community Center’s annual Support our Troops program underway

By Barbara Van Reed

Every November for the last six years, the Whitin Community Center (WCC) senior staff has geared up for its Support our Troops program, to thank the men and woman who serve our country by giving them a care package from home. And this year is no exception.

I am proud that the WCC can help bring the community together to remember our neighbors who are serving our country during the holidays,” said Executive Director Heather Elster. “Hopefully these care packages can bring them the joy and love from home to make their holidays brighter.”

Members of the community are asked to donate items for the gift boxes and bring them to the WCC lobby at 60 Main Street in Whitinsville anytime during November.  A comprehensive list of suggested items, along with specific packaging instructions, is available online at  Most requested items include single-serving snacks, toothbrushes, socks, and batteries.

The boxes aren’t sent to active service members at random – rather, they will be shipped to men and women who have a connection to our community. In fact, people in the community are invited to submit the names and addresses of friends and relatives from our area who are in the active military.

The packages can even be personalized to include items donated specifically for the service member. “As long as we know exactly who it’s for, we will include it in the designated box along with other items,” said Karen Boyle, director of member services at WCC.

The packages can be personalized with greetings from people in the community. Children in the WCC child care program will make greeting cards to go into the boxes as well.

The WCC staff will assemble the boxes with goods during the first week of December, and ship them off to arrive before Christmas. The shipping expense is not an afterthought. It costs $15 to send each package, and cash donations for this purpose are welcomed.

The holidays are difficult for members of the military, added Karen, and it’s nice to know you can make their time a little less lonely.

If you know a service member who might like to receive a holiday gift package, email Heather at [email protected] with his or her information.