Jacksonville, IL, December 6, 2016: The Jacksonville Rotary Club, Illinois College Rotaract Club and Jacksonville Interact Club recently joined with the Franklin Waverly Military Support Group and the Waverly Girl Scout Troop to send holiday care packages to 83 U.S. military personnel stationed in the Middle East.
The Franklin Waverly Military Support Group conducts activities throughout the year to support active military personnel from this area. This year they were able to double the number of holiday care packages sent to military personnel by joining with the Jacksonville Rotary Club to successfully apply for a $2,000 grant from Rotary District 6460. The Jacksonville Rotary Club also provided matching funds totaling $2,000 in support of the project.
Nancy Wood, a charter member of the Franklin Waverly Military Support Group, said, “Our group is totally volunteer-supported and volunteer-funded, so we really appreciate Rotary’s help in purchasing items for the care packages and paying for the substantial postage costs.”
The groups gathered for work nights at Franklin United Methodist Church this fall where a total of 33 people prepared and wrapped the gifts, which included batteries, socks, handmade pillowcases, tiny Christmas trees and personal items. The final work night was an assembly line where 22 people packaged and addressed the gifts for mailing.
Jacksonville Rotary Club President-elect Ginny Fanning said, “Our Rotary-affiliated clubs really enjoyed the opportunity to work with the Franklin Waverly Military Support Group on this project. The mental well-being of our soldiers is very important. We want to provide them with the comfort of knowing they are being remembered by people at home.”
Abby Mitchell, a Jacksonville High School student who is president of the local Interact Club, said, “This project aligns with the Rotary International goal of promoting peace and conflict prevention. We included a ball in each care package with a message that the soldiers should pass it along to a child in their service location. Sharing the ball as a gift to a local child will help to demonstrate to them that the military personnel in their communities are friendly, helpful people.” The Interact Club is comprised of students from Jacksonville High School and Turner Junior High School.
Erin Hodgson, president of the Illinois College Rotaract Club said, “It was really great to work together with people of all ages to do something so meaningful for these military personnel who will be away from home during the holidays. We hope the care packages help them to know how very much we appreciate their sacrifice.”
If you would like to donate to future efforts of the Franklin Waverly Military Support Group, please contact Celia Edwards at 217-435-4671, or mail donations to her attention at 502 S. Lyons Rd., Waverly, IL 62692.