West Virginia University employees and students can show their support for U.S. troops in Iraq by donating care package items at the Student Recreation Center beginning Tuesday, April 1.

Recreation Center staff will accept foodstuffs, toiletries, books and other items through Friday, April 25, at the facilitys front desk, said Pam Hagedorn, an administrative assistant coordinating the collection drive. Only new items will be accepted.

“As the states flagship university, we want to show our support for the troops serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom,”Hagedorn said.

As added incentive, the Recreation Center will allow students or employees who are members to bring a free guest if they donate five items on weekends (Friday-Sunday) during the drive, Hagedorn said. Employees who are not members may use the facility for free for the same donation on the same days, she added.

It costs $7 for non-members to use the center or for members to bring a guest.

Items collected during the drive will be turned over to the local American Red Cross chapter to ship to the troops, Hagedorn said. For security reasons, the Department of Defense is no longer accepting care packages from individuals other than family members, loved ones or close friends of military personnel.

The following care package items will be accepted:

Instant coffee
p. Gatorade

Hot chocolate and other drinks

Tea bags

Handi-snacks

Snack crackers

Candy that wont melt

Gum

Single-serve boxes of cereal

Kraft Easy Mac

Microwave popcorn

Beef jerky

Granola bars

Dried fruit

Chex Mix

Instant soup and individual

Oatmeal packets

Knee-high hose

Sunglasses

Small WVU logo items

Clorox wipes

Baby wipes

Razors

Travel-size non-aerosol shaving cream

Shampoo/conditioner

Soap/body wash

Deodorant

Lubricating eye drops

Lip balm

Sunblock

Band-Aids

Skin lotion
p. Dental floss

Talcum powder

Gold Bond Powder

Foot powder

Combs/brushes

Liquid waterless hand sanitizer

Breath mints/breath strips

Nail files

Toothpaste/toothbrushes

Stationary/pens/pencils/post cards

AT&T phone cards

Paperback books/magazines (no pornography)

Disposable cameras

Puzzles/yo-yos

Squirt guns

Frisbees

Small flashlights

AA and AAA batteries

Playing cards

Feminine-hygiene products

Q-Tips

Non-aerosol hair spray

Hair gel

Comic books

Bandanas

Non-aerosol bug spray

Board games

Arch-support insoles for shoes

White socks