Submitted October 16, 2017

Two Photos: Care Package Graphic, Canine Goggles
Cutline: Chitta is modeling a pair of protective goggles she received in a care package from Friends of CHS. Chitta, a Belgian Malinois, and her handler are stationed in Afghanistan. Chitta’s job is to search for explosives—a task made easier with eye protection.

You Can Help a Soldier Stationed Overseas
You can easily brighten the day of a local soldier stationed overseas! For the ninth year, Friends of Coffey Health System is compiling care packages to send to local troops stationed overseas, including canine units. Everyday items such as toiletry/hygiene items; snacks; playing cards; crossword/Sudoku books; gently-used magazines, CDs & books; and leftover Halloween candy are greatly appreciated by service men and women deployed overseas.

Additional names and addresses are also being sought of military personnel who are stationed overseas. If you know of someone who should receive one of these care packages, call the project coordinator Linda Booth at (620) 364-8015 or the hospital gift shop at 364-2121 Ext. 4267.
A soldier in the 1st Infantry Division (The Big Red One) wrote, “Your gifts bless us this holiday season and brought us a taste of home … one soldier even remarked that this was the only mail and gift he received this year. Thank you for making that possible and for being a blessing to so many.”
Over the past eight years, Friends of Coffey Health System have collected and sent 775 care packages. Last year alone, they shipped 179 flat-rate boxes to four different military units including four canine units. Monetary donations help to cover postage expenses and purchase additional goods. Monetary donations can be made at the hospital gift shop located at the main entrance of Coffey County Hospital. The care packages also include handwritten cards and letters from local schoolchildren.

Last year, international pet toy manufacturer Kong generously donated two boxes of chew toys recommended for military canines.
“There are so many ways to participate and help us reach even more soldiers,” said volunteer Linda Booth. “Individuals, families, churches, businesses, and civic groups can help collect items or contribute toward the postage expense. We also welcome help in putting together these care packages filled with everyday items like personal hygiene products, snacks, and books, which might not seem like much to us, but are powerful morale boosters and are greatly appreciated by the soldiers who receive them.”

Collection boxes are placed in the Coffey County Hospital gift shop, Hoover’s Thriftway, Shopko, and the Coffey County Register of Deeds Office. Schools, 4-H groups, American Legions, and other civic groups are also involved in the collection process. The volunteers will collect items until November 3.

Friends of Coffey Health System will have tables set up at Hoover’s Thriftway on October 21 and 28.
“We’re grateful to Hoover’s for working with us and making it easy for their patrons to participate,” Booth said. “Shoppers can pick up a list of requested items as they enter the store, then drop off their donations with our volunteers on their way back out.“

Donation Ideas Include:
Lip balm
Sunblock (non-aerosol)
Clorox wipes
Baby wipes
Feminine hygiene products
Body wash
Laundry pods
Small coffee, tea, cocoa
Single-serve food items
Instant foods
Protein bars, healthy snacks
Dried fruit, nuts
Microwaveable popcorn
Instant soup
Small canned meats
Fruit cups
Beef jerky
Microwaveable meals
Gently used magazines, CDs, books
Playing cards
Crossword puzzle books
Sudoku books
Writing materials, pens
Holiday cards
Water enhancers
Travel-size tissues
Lotion, hand sanitizer
Foot care items
Leftover Halloween candy

Items for canine units
Kong brand rubber balls
Canine shampoo & conditioner
Canine eyewash
Made in USA treats
Collapsible nylon dog bowls
Large rope chews
Canine grooming tools

About Coffey Health System
Coffey Health System offers a wide range of healthcare services in Coffey and Woodson Counties. In addition to Coffey County Hospital, five physician clinics serve patients in Burlington, Gridley, LeRoy, Waverly, and Yates Center. The CHS continuum also includes Coffey County Emergency Medical Services; The Meadows, CCH Home Health Agency, and CHS Rehabilitation & Wellness Services in Burlington; and Sunset Manor long-term care in Waverly.

For additional information, please contact:
Tracy Campbell
Director of Marketing
Coffey Health System
801 N. Fourth, Burlington, KS 66839
(620) 364-4507