JOHNSTON, Iowa -- With even more holidays fast approaching, the Iowa Blue Star Mothers are already starting to collect items for care packages to send to military men and women deployed overseas.
The Blue Star Mothers all over the United States started sending care packages in 1942.
The Iowa chapter partnered with the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum to help collect the items and also provide a place to put the packages together.
Iowa Gold Star Military Museum Director Sherrie Colbert said they have had a great response so far but are still looking for donations and items like shampoo, deodorant, soap, gum, snacks, chocolate and coffee.
Colbert said a lot of the time troops don't have access to simple things and they really look forward to packages like this.
"My former boss, General Ben Correll, was stationed overseas and I sent him care packages and it had little things he didn’t have access to. And I would get emails from him that said, ‘oh thank you I was out of gum. I didn't have my gum. Or I didn’t have the coffee that I like,’ or something like that. And so it made him feel good and it made me feel good that I was able to do something for him," Colbert said.
BSMA Chaplain and Historian Maxine Christensen said one of the items the troops rave about is the fudge from Bass Pro Shops that get’s put in the packages inside a home made Christmas stocking.
"I think the idea of putting in homemade fudge, theirs is like homemade fudge. They make it there. It tastes like homemade fudge. And I think that's the joy of it. This is a part of home. And I think that's what it meant to them. They've said that. This is like home. And we read that and cried. I'm serious. We read the letter and cried because we just did it because it was the right thing to do," Christensen said.
They are collecting items at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum, 7105 Northwest 70th Avenue, Johnston, until November 2.