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Donation drive: Serving those who served

United State service member.

Care packages often boost the morale of members of the military serving overseas, and they also help soldiers meet some of their basic needs. The Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning is excited to partner with local VFW Auxiliary 454 over the next three weeks to collect donated items and create care packages to send to active-duty members of the military serving overseas.

The donation drive and service project are the Center’s 2019 Serving Those Who Served project. Each year the Center organizes a service project or weekend service trip in conjunction with Veteran’s Day to honor current and former members of the military.

“This topic is personal for me,” said Katelyn Hill, a graduate assistant at the Center who is organizing the project. “I have family members who serve in the Army and Marines. Providing care packages for deployed service members is a wonderful opportunity for the campus community because we’re offering Redbirds the ability to say ‘thank you’ to these individuals. We’re serving those who serve our country daily.”

VFW Auxiliary 454 currently needs food items from the list below for these care packages. Donations can be dropped off now through November 8 at the Center. The office is located at 300 W. North Street in Normal and is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

  • Beef sticks/jerky
  • Powdered drink mixes
  • Hard candy
  • Dried fruit
  • Peanut butter/Nutella
  • Snack items of all kinds (no chocolate)
  • Snack-sized pretzels
  • Peanuts
  • Raisins
  • Canned Vienna sausages
  • Tuna and cracker packs
  • Chef Boyardee items with pop-top lids
  • Small cans of fruit with pop-top lids (no plastic containers)

On November 9, the Center will take a small group of volunteers to VFW Auxiliary 454 to organize and pack the care packages. The group will leave from the Center at 8:30 a.m. and return at approximately 11:30 a.m. If you’re interested in volunteering, please register through the online registration form. Registrations will be limited to the first 15 people.


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