Red Cross says it has enough for U.S. troops

After a two-month campaign to collect items for U.S troops in
the Middle East, the San Benito County chapter of the American Red
Cross says it has enough packages for now.
After a two-month campaign to collect items for U.S troops in the Middle East, the San Benito County chapter of the American Red Cross says it has enough packages for now.

Throughout November and December, the Red Cross collected books, socks, videos, sweaters and other items for soldiers in Afghanistan.

“The community was fabulous. People even brought in Avon products,” said Katherine Englehart, executive director of the local Red Cross chapter. “The amount of packages we boxed up overwhelmed the office.”

Though the bulk of the packages have been sent out, the Red Cross is still mailing packages to troops, a little at a time.

“We need to get the message out that we don’t need to collect any more items for the troops,” Englehart said.

With the deployment of troops to the Persian Gulf and some deployed within 24 hours, Englehart said many soldiers may not have had time to notify family members.

“Especially when something happens and they don’t have time to call. Then we remind them to call home,” she said. “We do that quite often.”

The Red Cross notifies soldiers in the field of family emergencies, Englehart said. But sometimes troops are stationed in high-security areas.

“We at least can let them (families) know if their son or daughter is safe,” she said.

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