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WCNY Region Collecting Comfort Care Packages for Veterans this Season

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As part of its ongoing Service to the Armed Forces, the Western and Central New York Region of the American Red Cross will be working with local groups, organizations, corporations and caring individuals to construct comfort care packages that will be distributed to veterans and their families during various homeless stand downs, valor days and other military fairs and gatherings across its 26 counties this holiday season.

Through December 2015, the Red Cross will be collecting the following items for veterans and their families, who may be facing difficult times:

·         Toothbrushes

·         Toothpaste

·         Shampoo

·         Conditioner

·         Deodorant

·         Comb

·         Shaving cream

·         Razor

·         Nail clippers

·         Packs of gum

Individuals and groups can collect these items in bulk and drop them off at one of our Red Cross Chapter locations, where volunteers will use them to construct the comfort care kits. Community members are also encouraged to construct the kits themselves, with each item placed in a zip lock freezer bag. Kits can also include a personal thank you card in recognition of the recipients’ service and sacrifice. Completed kits can be dropped off at a local Red Cross Chapter for distribution.

The Red Cross is also looking for volunteers to help construct the comfort care kits, and distribute completed kits to veterans and their families. For more information on the Holiday Heroes program, please contact the Regional Director, Military Programs and International Services James Love at 585-241-4418 or Specialist Lisa Taibi at 716-878-2371.

In an effort to Give Something That Means Something to veterans and their families this holiday season, the American Red Cross, Western and Central New York Region is providing these needed toiletries and other comfort care items in lieu of the long running Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program.

In 2014 changes to the program occurred directed local Red Cross Chapters to deliver 100% of the cards to local military facilities. Thanks to the kindness of our community members, the Western and Central New York was overwhelmed with nearly 65,000 individual holiday cards. As a result, a number of cards have been retained from 2014 and will be delivered this season along with the comfort care kits. This year, the Region is asking the community to support the construction of these military comfort care kits that will be given directly to veterans in need across our 26 counties. The Region will accept and distribute cards from previously scheduled Holiday Mail for Heroes events, including the continuing efforts of young Sophie Kartzman in Corning.