http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2009/06/05/donations-down-say-blue-star-moms


DanvilleSanRamon.com

Newsfront - June 5, 2009

Donations down, say Blue Star Moms

Danville drop zone will be accepting donations tomorrow

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

The Blue Star Moms, who have offspring in the U.S. military, are known for the care packages they send to our troops in war zones.

"We have three mailings a year - Valentine's Day, Fourth of July and Christmas," said Janet Burchard of East Bay Chapter 101.

The Fourth of July is fast approaching but donations are down, she lamented.

"I think it's because of the economy and maybe we just haven't gotten as much publicity," she said.

Tomorrow will be the last collection - called a drop zone - before the goodies are bundled up and mailed June 19-20. A list of suggested items to donate is available at www.bluestarmoms.org but Burchard said the No. 1 thing they need is snack foods such as trail mix, candy, gum and nuts packaged in individual sizes.

"No chocolate," she warns. "At this time of year temperatures can be 120 degrees. Although we do send chocolate at Christmastime."

She also suggested fun items like Frisbees or Hacky-sacks.

Burchard joined the Blue Star Moms when her son Scott Crosley, a 1991 graduate of Monte Vista High School, was deployed to Iraq in 2005. He is with the Texas National Guard and spent a year in Iraq where, although a chaplain, he went out on patrol.

"It sounded scary and I needed support," said Burchard. "We sent Scott a care package every other week and he had a lot of guys he'd share with, soldiers that maybe didn't get anything from home."

She doesn't know if or when he may be sent overseas again but she stays active in the Blue Star Moms.

"A lot of moms have sons and daughters who are veterans," she said.

If people can't buy items, money is also welcome, Burchard noted. Postal rates have increased and each package costs $12 to mail.

"The cost of our postage runs in the tens of thousands of dollars a year," she said, adding that donations are tax-deductible.

Tomorrow's drop zone also will have a table for people to write notes to the troops.

"We include a little note in each of our boxes," said Burchard. Sometimes children in classrooms will write notes to be included.

The troops often write back.

"We get quite a few thank you notes from soldiers and Marines," said Burchard. "They like the idea that someone remembers them and is supporting them. It kind of makes their day."

Help the troops

What: Drop zone to collect items and postcards for Summer Fun Care Packages for U.S. troops overseas. Money also gratefully accepted.

Who: Blue Star Moms, whose sons and daughters are in the military, are serving overseas, or are veterans

When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, June 6

Where: Veterans Memorial Building, 400 Hartz Ave., Danville

Contact: Janet Burchard, 838-4228

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