Nine tons of care

Try to imagine NINE TONS of homemade cookies, brownies, popcorn, DVDs, and other all-American treats. That’s the total weight of care packages sent to U.S. soldiers serving in war zones since 2004 by members of the WashU community. Faculty, staff, and students have collected, packed and shipped the much-appreciated goodies and supplies on a regular basis for more than a decade.

Jill Edwards, Senior Project Manager in the Office of the Vice Provost has organized the campus-wide effort and sent this message to volunteers:

“YOU ARE AMAZING!!  On February 26th the Washington University Care Package group sent 20 boxes weighing 450 pounds at a cost of $829.25 to our U.S. Troops. This mailing brings the total weight of snacks, toiletries, baked-goods, etc., to 18,219 pounds.  YES!  You read that right! Since 2004 you have sent over NINE TONS of supplies to our troops!
Thank you to everyone who donated items, baked goods, postage funds and their time (and muscles!) to pack the heavy boxes.  I have heard from all but one solider confirming that they have received the packages.  Their emails are copied below. – Jill”

Claire Patterson in the Graduate Programs Office has organized the Military Care Package efforts at Olin.

From Miguel De Jesus:
I personally wanted to thank you and all the other bakers (Larisa, Debbie, Lilia, and Judy) and all the personnel & friends from the Washington University of St. Louis for the baked goods and other items in the boxes sent to the Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division, they really appreciate everything.  Most importantly, I wanted to thank all of you for using some of your personal time to bake those goodies for the Soldiers.  It is people like your group who make being away from home worth doing.  There is no way for me explain how important and appreciated this is, you would understand if your saw the smile on the Soldiers faces.  It is not just because of the baked goods and other items, but because they know there are still people back home who appreciate and care about them. Thank you for your support.

From Juan Banales:
I’m so sorry I’m just getting back to you.  We’ve been having connectivity issues at our outstation.

Thank you so much for the packages!  The brownies didn’t last two days– my boys were eating them by the handful.  We’re all so grateful for the rest of the items sent as well.  Believe me, we’re putting everything to good use.

I hope this message finds you in good health.  For our part, we’ve been busy.  We’ve conducted different types of operations with great success but, unfortunately, at some cost to our partners.  Thankfully, all of my men are alive and well; only a few scrapes and wounds.  Again, thank you for taking the time to send us everything.  It truly means a lot.

From David Butler:
I received those boxes while I was of town last week and my soldiers loved the food! Thank you all!!!!!!

Bradley Schamel:
I just wanted to write a quick email and express the gratitude of my team for the care packages you all sent, it truly builds moral and means the world when we are able to receive a small “slice of America” out here. The guys (and myself) really enjoyed all the home baked/cooked goodies.

Again, thank you so so much, I am actually enjoying one of the brownies right now 🙂

From Ryan Jones:
Just got the package a few days ago… and I would say most all the snacks are gone already 😉 I did save a few bags in my fridge so I could space it out over a few weeks. But everyone here that I gave the stuff out to really enjoyed the snacks and other gifts.

Thanks again for thinking of us and the support… everyone really does appreciate the thoughts and generosity.

From Alexander Larson:
I received both of your boxes today. Thank you very much! You made a lot of Soldiers happy with the gifts. We really appreciate all that you guys do back in the States to support us while we are over here.

From Jeremiah Seitz:
Wow! Thank you very much for the great care packages. We received one the 10th and the other on the 11th. Both were emptied within a few hours of opening by the Soldiers. I had no idea the Salt & Vinegar chips would be such a hit. My personal weakness were the brownies!

Everyone here is very grateful for your continued support.

From Travis Buehner: (email #1)
I got your package in the mail yesterday.  We really appreciate all the support from the Wash U team.  Thank you for organizing this and please thank all the faculty, staff and students [and friends] who contributed.  I have passed out many of the items to our Soldiers who were extremely appreciative. Jan – The chocolate chocolate chunk cookies were delicious.

From Travis Buehner: (email #2)
Got the second box today.  Mail system is weird over here.  Thanks so much.

Judy – Your brownies were great, I just ate one.  We were just talking about brownies the other day while at dinner…something they don’t have over here, so the timing was impeccable.  I’ll be sure to share with everyone!

From Tod Pham Vo:
The other 2 boxes arrived today.   Thank you so much.  Please tell anyone else involved that myself and the others are very appreciative.  Will be dishing some of this out to my roommate and some others I know could use some extra goodies.

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