Volunteers Will Always Support Our Military

Photo by Chris Lundy

  TOMS RIVER – There’s a squad of men and women on the home front who send much-needed supplies to boost the morale of soldiers serving overseas. They are called “Always Supporting Our Military.”

  Barbara Youmans, Maureen Thomsick, Marianne Barone, and Tom McGovern met with The Toms River Times to show what they do.

  The boxes go to sailors on ships, to ministries abroad, and to any other place they can. AnySoldier.com has lists of service members that accept packages.

  “I try to send each a box and when I get to the end, I start all over,” Youmans said.

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  Female soldiers have health needs that are not always covered by the PX. Spices are good to freshen up the bland military food.

Books, treats, and other items are packaged for donation. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

  Some of the requests are very specific. One soldier wanted Lego. Another asked for rubber duckies. Another wanted a coffee pot.

  “When they have down time, they need to be amused. They need to have something to remind them of home,” Barone said. They also want decorations during the holidays.

  There are some things that are always needed like socks and toiletries. Elementary schools will send letters and art.

  They ask for greeting cards so they can send their loved ones birthday and holiday cards. These things are not available any other way.

  The boxes are packed with the latest funny pages from the paper so the soldiers can have some laughs. Many of the items are packed in Ziploc bags which the soldiers then reuse.

  They will work with other military care groups locally. The Knights of Columbus of Marmora, New Jersey sends a check every month. The Gardens of Pleasant Plains supports them as well.

  They could send about 20 boxes a week, at $20 apiece, so it costs $400 just for shipping, Youmans said.

  They often get letters of thanks back. One soldier described the unit’s tasks overseeing airborne intelligence missions against the Taliban and Isis.

Photo by Chris Lundy

  “Your care package helped my team get the job done and your thoughts and prayers motivated us despite the challenge,” they wrote.

How To Help

  This is a small group of volunteers. Call 732-349-0638 if you’d like to help. You can also visit Always Supporting Our Military on Facebook.

  You can list their group as a charity of choice on Amazon Smile. This will give .5% of your eligible purchases to the charity of your choice.

Joan McCranor shows how the care packages are prepared. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

  They are also looking for a location for them to store and ship. They are outgrowing the space in Youmans’ basement and are looking for a business that would be willing to set aside some space for them.