Operation Interdependence Sending Holiday Cheer to Troops

Last month, the Gilroy group sent 2,000 c-rats to troops and
they expect to send another 2,500 this month
Gilroy – They may be out of sight, but they’re not out of mind.

Members of the U.S. military will be receiving civilian rations known as c-rats this holiday season care of Operation Interdependence – a non-profit group that ships the packages to service men and women abroad.

Included within the c-rats are everyday items such as toothpaste, soap, foot powder and other toiletries as well as treats such as candy, granola bars and magazines.

“It’s something from home,” explained Karen Humber, a coordinator for Operation Interdependence in Gilroy.

She is also the mother of a U.S. Marine, and working at Operation Interdependence helps her put nervous energy to a positive use.

“There are so many people who want to do something, but they just don’t know how,” she said.

Now they can.

Friday, Nov. 18 at the James Suner Group Building, volunteers will be writing Christmas cards, filling stockings for the troops, and packing the c-rats for shipment.

“People can stop by for 15 minutes and write a letter, or stay for two hours and pack,” she said. “The most important thing is the letter from home and the bags themselves. They’re often used to protect family photos.”

Last month, Operation Interdependence in Gilroy sent 2,000 c-rats to troops. The group expects to send an additional 2,500 this month.

The founder of the non-profit group, Al Renteria, served in the military and watched as thousands of care packages rotted and went to waste waiting to be delivered to the appropriate person.

He decided that c-rats should be randomly distributed in a grab-n-go fashion.

“Nothing’s going to waste and nobody is being pulled off the lines, off duty, off training to dole them out,” Humber said.

The group has been active in Gilroy for the past six months, and interest has been growing.

However, the Gilroy unit is unable to handle all the donations.

Next week, more than $100,000 of donated goods for the c-rats is available for the group to pick up – if they can get a semi-trailer to drive it down, Humber explained.

Individuals who want to help bring holiday cheer to the service men and women are asked to register at Operation Interdependence by visiting the Web site at www.oidelivers.org.

Reach local coordinator Karen Humber at 848-2630.

Join Operation Interdependence

When: 6 to 8pm, Friday, Nov. 18

Where: James Suner Group Building, 7436 Monterey St.

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