A West Virginia University student is asking the WVU and Morgantown communities to donate items to be sent to U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.
Leilani Browning is collecting cards and letters, toiletries, nonperishable snacks and other items weekdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through Friday, Oct. 14 in the Mountainlair commons area.
No matter what peoples feelings are about the war, the men and women in harms way need continued support, said Browning, whose husband served in the military.
Many items are in short supply and often difficult for troops to replace or even purchase during their deployment in these countries, she added.
The multidisciplinary studies major decided to organize the collection drive as her capstone project for graduation. Browning is minoring in communication studies, sociology and womens studies. The project is supported in part by the WVU Office of Service Learning Programs.
As long as a war goes on, theres a need,she said.I never realized how many men and women dont have any family to write to them. Having a letter makes a big difference to their morale.
If people would like to write to military personnel, they should indicate whether their message is for a male or female. Browning will address the letter and send it to a Marine or Navy unit. People may include an e-mail or mailing address in the letter, not on the envelope.
Snacks such as M&Ms, granola bars and Chex mixand plastic storage bagsare also appreciated.
A lot of people go out in the field. Theyll stand duty for 12-14 hours,Browning said,and thats all theyll have to eatwhat they have in their pockets. Ziplocbags are needed to keep out the sand and bugs.
The WVU student would also welcome white, olive or brown T-shirts in medium, large and extra large sizes.
A lot of times they dont have laundry facilities or their uniforms are cut off them after theyve been injured,she said.
Other items requested include: air freshener; batteries (AA, AAA , D); baby wipes; birthday cards; small, lightweight blankets; board games and crossword puzzles; paperback books; body and foot powder; CDs, DVDs and tapes; 2005-06 calendars; Chapstick; cigarettes; holiday lights and ornaments; cocoa butter; coffee grinders and mugs; cold weather gear (gloves and thermal underwear); flashlights with green, red or blue lenses; Kleenex in travel packs; laundry detergent (small, travel-size boxes); loose-leaf paper, stationery, envelopes and pens; magazines; small pillows and pillow cases; phone cards; playing cards; Q-Tips and cotton balls or pads; razor blades (Mach 3 and Venus) and shaving cream; medicine for colds and headaches; sanitizer gel, soap, shampoo and hair conditioner; scarves for female troops; twin-size bed sheets; socks (white or black); and toothbrushes and toothpaste.
In addition to candy and cereal bars, Browning is requesting the following food and beverage items: crackers and cheese spread; chicken salad lunch kits; chips and pretzels; hot chocolate packets; coffee, creamer and coffee filters; cookies; Crystal Light, Gatorade and sweetened Kool-Aid drink mixes; Cup ONoodles and Ramen Noodles; dried fruit; Easy Mac; freeze pops; fruit cups; gum; honey; iced tea and energy drinks; jerky; nuts; oatmeal packets; packets of ketchup, hot sauce, mayonnaise and mustard; pasta and rice bowls; peanut butter; popcorn; Pop-Tarts; protein bars and powder; soup; sugar; tea; trail mix; and tuna packets or lunch kits with crackers.