Jump aboard the Operation Christmas at Sea effort; here’s how

LaPortean Fran Milo, mother of U.S. Navy veteran and former Mayor Blair Milo, explained the impetus behind the Operation Christmas at Sea drive: “Blair’s dear friend from her very first days in the Navy is just assuming the role of CDR (sel) and Executive Officer with the USS Arlington. Commander Greg Grubbs was there when the USS Mason received 300 shoeboxes for the sailors at Christmas. Apparently it was a pretty amazing day for them. Those shoeboxes came from LaPorte (mostly from Bethany Lutheran Church). But it turned into a bit of a community project. So Greg contacted Blair and wanted her to ask if we might be able to make another “Shoebox Drop” happen for the USS Arlington. One significant difference … we have 1,000 sailors and Marines (the USS Arlington is an amphibious docking ship that combines the Navy and Marines in a joint deployment)! An interesting note is that the USS Arlington is made up of repurposed metal from the Twin Towers rubble of 9-11.”

How to help

Here’s how you can help:

Before Nov. 11, bring your choice of the following items, or a shoe box packed with some of the items, to one of these locations: Best Western Hotel lobby on Pine Lake Avenue, Bethany Lutheran Church (102 G St.), Suds on State Laundromat (600 Clay St.), the Civic Auditorium on Ridge Street, or the Christmas at Sea display table at the LaPorte post office on Tuesdays or Thursdays:

— Shoe boxes (no boot boxes)

— A self-addressed postcard with a personal note, or a card with a personal note, to let them know you’re thinking about them and to thank them for their service. 

— Soap (unscented such as Ivory or Dove)

— Deodorant

— Wash cloth  

— Toothbrush/toothpaste/floss

— Comb or brush

— Sunscreen

— Disposable razors

— Socks (white tube or thick black)

— Tissue packets

— Fun Band-aids

— Individual packets of Tylenol

— Nail clipper, nail file

— Notebook, pens, pencils

— Comic books, books, magazines

— Stationery or cards

— Ziploc baggies

— Pre-paid phone cards

— AA and AAA batteries

— Puzzle books, deck of cards

— Mints, gum, other hard candy (NO CHOCOLATE CANDY!)

— Instant coffee or tea bags

— Small fruit cups (pop-top lids)

— Cheese/peanut butter crackers

— Ramen noodles

— Pop Tarts or granola bars

— Instant oatmeal packets

Bring an already-packed box or just some items and members of the LaPorte Rotary Club will pack them.

Or, make a monetary donation to the LaPorte Rotary Club with the memo Operation Christmas at Sea and send it to Fran Milo, 92 Keston Elm Dr., LaPorte, IN 46350.

For more information, contact Milo at franmilo@comcast.net.

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