For the most part, the goods will be packed and sent to troops
Gilroy – Two truckloads of toiletries, food and other donations intended for hurricane victims and military personnel fighting abroad are headed to Gilroy and Morgan Hill.
The donation to the local chapter of Operation Interdependence, a national nonprofit that sends care packages to men and women of uniform overseas, represents the spoils left from the annual conference of the National Association of Convenient Stores.
The group, which met in Las Vegas earlier this year, will send roughly a dozen truckloads carrying $100,000 in goods each to four sites across the country, including two trucks full of products for Gilroy and Morgan Hill residents.
Once here, the OI volunteers will separate the products and set aside toiletries, snacks and other small items to include in care packages sent overseas to the armed forces.
The group’s sophisticated distribution system allows care packages that include a letter from home to reach even those on the front lines of the Iraq war.
Bulk products that are too large for the care package will be directed to local victims of the summer hurricanes, according to Karen Humber, a local Marine mom and OI volunteer.
She said that Wal-Mart has agreed to transport the goods from Las Vegas to Gilroy. Once they arrive this weekend, a Gilroy company – Full Spectrum Machining Inc. – will provide free storage.
“It’s just so many people coming together,” Humber said Tuesday. “Between companies donating the trucks, people making the first contact with Wal-Mart, people donating warehouse space to store all of the product, with the volunteers we know we can count on to sort through the product and get it repackaged. It’s just so exciting to see so many people so willing to give time and effort to make this work in such a short amount of time.”
Operation Interdependence will hold a “pack in” on Friday to help assemble care packages from products it already has in its inventory.
Another pack in will likely take place in coming weeks as the nonprofit group looks to distribute the goods currently on the way from Las Vegas.
Please visit their Web site, www.oidelivers.org for more information or e-mail Julie Dawes, OI area manager for Morgan Hill, at [email protected] to learn more about how to support the troops.