by Ed Harris
The Giving Back Girls is working with the Connecticut Army National Guard and the state American Legion Auxiliary to hose Help a Soldier and Fill That Military Truck later this month.
The Giving Back Girls was formed in October 2010 by Erin Gibney. The group currently has 14 members.
The group aims to give back to the community and has held bake sales and other fundraisers for YMCA scholarships and the Southington Community Services Department. The group also adopts a family for Christmas.
The Giving Back Girls also recently took over the Smart Start back to school program.
“They want to give back to the community,” said Tricia Gibney, Erin’s mother.
The Fill That Military Truck is an offshoot of the Fill That School Bus fundraiser that the Giving Back Girls ran to raise the supplies needed for the Smart Start program. The Fill That Bus event helped raise school supplies for those in need.
“The community has been absolutely fantastic,” Tricia said.
Tricia said that Rachel Wache, a former president of the Southington American Legion Auxiliary has helped with the program. Wache said the items that the Giving Back Girls will be collecting include smaller items that the auxiliary includes in zippered bags for deploying soldiers. These items will be included for soldier deploying in January.
The Giving Back Girls will have a list of the items, but they include dried fruit, candy, trail mix and other snack food type items, personal care items such as lotions, baby wipes, tissues, deodorant and small travel board games.
“The troops are so appreciative of everything our community does,” Wache said.
Wache noted that the American Legion Auxiliary also sends out its own, larger, care packages every month. These packages are sent out with the help of Margherita Curraro, Wache said, adding that the auxiliary sends out 10-12 boxes a month.
“The need is always there,” Wache said.
Some of the items that are recommended to pack in potential care packages include lip balm, foot powder (unscented), shoe inserts, beef jerky, protein bars and other non-perishable food items. It is also suggested including knitted hats (black), stationary, games, DVDs, books (paperbacks) and CDs.
“The possibilities are pretty much endless,” Wache said, describing what could be fit into the boxes and shipped to the troops.
The Giving Back Girls will host Help a Soldier and Fill that Military Truck on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Walmart parking lot. The Connecticut Army National Guard is supplying a military vehicle to collect the donated items.
Anyone interested in helping with the monthly care packages or in submitting a loved ones name to receive them, contact Rachel Wache at 860-621-0890.