By Betty Lawrence
Those magnetic yellow Support Our Troops and red, white and blue God Bless the USA ribbons that increasingly have been popping up on vehicles in the local area are special to Helen (Butch) Jacobs, of Coldwater.
Earlier this summer, Jacobs, with the help of her daughter, Cathy Knapke, of Philothea, launched a project to raise money to send care packages to U.S. service men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
They have supplied Coldwater businesses with the symbolic ribbons and the businesses in turn are selling them for $5 apiece with the proceeds to go towards the purchase of supplies for the care packages.
"I have a good friend serving as a captain in Iraq and I just wanted to do something to help our people serving over there," Jacobs said.
Her project is named Freedom Support and an account has been set up at People's Bank in Coldwater, to accept donations. What she needs now, she says, is the names and addresses of local service men and women to mail the packages to.
The packages will be made up in mid-October for shipment, Jacobs says.
Anyone knowing of a military persons serving in Iraq or Afghanistan are urged to call Jacobs at 419-678-4942.
Items needed for the care packages include: bug repellent, flea collars, sun screen, disposable razors, black electric tape, green or camouflaged duct tape, baby wipes, dryer sheets, toothpaste and brush, tissues, deodorant (unscented), shaving cream, combs and brushes, Imodium AD, writing tablets, pens, envelopes, bar soap, shampoo, mouthwash, playing cards, gummy bears, hard tack candy, canned snacks, black socks, books and magazines, phone cards, Q-tips, cotton balls, canned nuts, jerky, peanut butter/cheese crackers, Visine, sunflower seeds, suckers, pepperoni sticks, balloons, powered beverages like Kool-Aid and Gatorade and laundry detergent.
"We also need T-shirts (large and extra large) and sweat pants (large and extra large) for the boys that have been wounded and are coming home. All they have is the clothes on their backs," Jacobs said.
Anyone wishing to donate items should contact Jacobs or Knapke at the Philothea Country Club.