The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 13, 2012

Local woman hopes to brighten Christmas for unit in Afghanistan

Shipment must go out on Oct. 31 to meet security requirements

By Carra Higgins
Register-Herald Reporter

— A local Army mother is trying to make the upcoming holiday season a little brighter for around 200 people serving in her son’s unit stationed in Afghanistan.

Rachel McBride, mother of 1st Lt. Sean Meade, an Army Ranger and graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, is organizing and collecting goodies to fill stockings and ship them to the unit. She’s hoping the community will help her with her goal.

This summer, with contributions from the local community McBride was able ship gifts to the unit members, who McBride says were “absolutely thrilled.”

She said her son told her the gifts had boosted morale for the troops who arrived in the Afghanistan desert in April.

McBride says the unit is about three hours away from any town and is living in very “primitive conditions” and those in the unit are hopeful that Christmas can be sent to them.

Donations must be collected by Oct. 28 in order for the shipment to go out on Oct. 31. McBride says security reasons stipulate deadlines for gift shipments to the troops.

Anyone who would like to donate items should contact McBride at 304-683-3594 or 304-222-4330 for further information about drop-off locations or to request that the items be picked up.

Suggested items to donate include Christmas candy, gum, Fruit Roll-ups, Gushers, Cracker Jacks, beef Slim Jims, pretzels, lemonade-flavored drink mixes, individual flavored teas, hot drink mixes, large bags of coffee, commercially packaged trail mix;

Nuts, chips, cookies, tuna, Ramen soup, lasagna, canned fruit, pocket games and puzzles, DVD movies, music CDs, current magazines, Beanie Babies, AT&T phone cards;

Paperback books, disposable cameras, lip balm, foot powder, small toiletries and lotions, crew socks, hand and foot warmers, fly swatters and holiday greeting cards with messages of support and friendship.

Items that cannot be accepted include homemade foods, soap products or romantic novels.

McBride is also accepting monetary donations to help cover shipping costs.

Sophia United Methodist Church is also serving as a drop off point for the project.

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