Caring for our Military

Dixon Host Second Military Collection Drive

 Emily C. Roush

The Ashland Beacon

Care Packages for Soldiers is now conducting its second annual drive to send items to service members stationed overseas.

Last year’s drive was a success, but founder Liza Dixon’s goal for this year is growth. “We sent 218 packages last time and would love to increase that number this time,” she said.

Donors can now drop off donations at more than 20 locations, including the Boyd County and Carter County PVA Offices. The full list of drop-off locations can be found on the Facebook page, @CarePackagesForSoldiersKY.

Dixon started Care Packages for Soldiers in 2018 as a personal project. She knew she wanted to help others but was unsure how. She read and heard about individuals in the community collecting supplies and raising money for various causes. Dixon was inspired but knew she wanted to do something different than what she had seen. While talking to her husband, Brandon, about members in his family who served in the military, she realized helping servicemen and women was what she wanted to do.

Dixon and volunteers went to churches, schools, businesses and community organizations to ask for donations. They also attended political rallies and functions asking for sponsorship money to pay for shipping. In addition to the supplies, Dixon’s organization was able to raise $3,500 in 2018 to cover the cost of shipping.

Participation in Care Packages for Soldiers goes deeper than donating items and money. Individuals are encouraged to write letters and send pictures to service members along with their donations. Letter writing proved to be particularly impactful to Dixon. She fondly recalled receiving a response after sending a letter to a service member.

 “The service member was having a really bad day at work and was missing her family,” Dixon said. “When she got back to her bunk, she found one of our care packages waiting for her. It turned her day around.”

The service member then wrote back to Dixon thanking her for both the package and letter.

“I was also having a bad day,” Dixon recalled. “When I got home, her letter was there waiting for me. It turned my day around too.”

This year’s drive will take place throughout a longer time frame, giving people more opportunities to donate and volunteers more time to collect. There are numerous items that can be donated including personal hygiene products, snack foods and letter writing supplies. A complete list of requested items can be found at the Facebook page @CarePackagesForSoldiersKY.

Dixon said the organization is also again accepting monetary donations to cover shipping, as it costs $17.85 to ship each box. The Facebook page includes a PayPal link for people to donate money online.

The drive will officially end April 21 and culminate with a box packing event. The date for this event will soon be announced. Dixon’s goal is to have all packages shipped by the beginning of May, so service members will receive them by Memorial Day. All information, updates, and contact information for Care Packages for Soldiers can be found on Facebook @CarePackagesForSoldiersKY. People can also call Liza Dixon at 606-694-6486.