Southborough residents organize supply drive for soldiers
By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Southborough – On May 20, an army of volunteers gathered at the Southborough Senior Center to collect, sort and box care package donations for the troops in Afghanistan. Under the direction of Southborough resident Lisa Braccio, who founded the biannual event in 2005, 369 boxes have been filled and taken to the Southborough Post Office – weighing a total of 10,000 pounds.
“The boxes – which each provide supplies for 50 to 100 soldiers – bring the ‘touches and tastes of home’ to those serving overseas,” Braccio said. “People helping people is what America is all about.”
Residents from Southborough and surrounding towns came out in force, Braccio said, donating personal care items, food and drinks, entertainment items and even baby wipes for those without running water to “shower.” There has been an outpouring of monetary donations as well to help defray the cost of shipping. For those who eat MRE’s three times a day, receiving food items is a welcome treat.
“Sometimes we get notes from children with the donations,” Braccio said, “and it really touches me. They go right into the box with the supplies, but not before I read each one first.”
This particular Care Package Drive has been designated the Charlie Hamel Care Package Drive in honor of Hamel, a World War II veteran who has participated in every Care Package Drive since 2005.
Braccio has orchestrated two package drives a year for the past seven years – yielding a total of 72,000 boxes and 155,000 pounds of supplies sent to Afghanistan. The next event will take place Oct. 13 and 14 at the Southborough Senior Center.
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