Care packages from home to make a sailor smile

Mallorie, Leila, and Annalissa prepare their care packages filled with all sorts of goodies.

HOLTVILLE- In the battlefield, chances are a soldier, marine, or sailor will not have the luxury of enjoying their favorite snack from home when they are deployed overseas.

With that in mind, the Holtville Boys and Girls Club created and sent snack food care packages with T-shirts and other supplies to Navy sailors, Thursday, who are deployed overseas.

“I think the people who have passed away in my family would be proud that we are doing this for the ones that are still out there,” said Elah, one of the first children to fix up her care package.

The packages were done in coalition with the American Legion Auxiliary, which creates packages for overseas soldiers whenever possible throughout the year.  This is the first time they have partnered up with the Boys and Girls Club to make packages.

Kim Vincent, director of the Holtville Boys and Girls Club, is also a member of the local American Legion Auxiliary and a Navy veteran who wanted to create a partnership between the two organizations. Plus, it was a good way for the students to do a community service.

“What better way to do that than to send care packages to our troops,” said Vincent, “and to teach the kids about service to our military.”

The children made at least two care packages each, filling them with snacks and goodies such as corn nuts, sunflower seeds, chips, candy, and more.  No chocolate, according to Vincent, since everything was going to go through extreme heat and it would melt.  Small inspirational magazines, chapstick, letters from the children, and patriotic poems were also packed up for the sailors.

Twelve boxes of supplies and care packages will be sent off to three ships.

“They are going to feel that we respect them a lot when we send these packages,” said Landon, one of the youths whose godfather is a veteran.

Boxes of T-shirts, socks, and underwear are also being sent, a request by the owner of Sobes Restaurant in El Centro.

All of the snacks and supplies were donated by Sobes, Boys and Girls Club, and the American Legion Auxiliary.

Ilario Castro, a Marine veteran whose daughter goes to the Boys and Girls Club, remembered care packages like the ones the children were putting together were some of the best things he and his fellow Marines received from home.

“You would see care packages come from all over,” said Castro, “Marines on deployment rely on those things because your families are never around or not around enough to be sending stuff every weekend.”

Vincent stated the packages would go to the former El Centro Naval Air Facility Chaplain, Jared Smith.  Smith will then be able to disperse the boxes to each ship.  Vincent even hopes that perhaps some sailors will agree to become pen pals with the children.

The boxes will be sent to three forward deployed ships and distributed among the sailors.