When the ladies of the Tega Cay Women’s Club held a garage sale during Tega Cay’s Fall Festival last October, they knew they wanted their profits to go to the military, but they weren’t sure how.
Then, member Michele McGuire remembered when the group sent care packages to the troops.
“We did a similar project eight years ago and sent out 12 boxes,” McGuire said.
She suggested the idea to the other members, noting that deployed troops are often thought about at Christmas but maybe not as much at Easter. The signed on for the project.
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“Once we decided on our project, we wanted the community to know how we were planning on spending the garage sale profits,” said McGuire.
The club put word out through email, civic organizations, churches and the media. McGuire also reached out to the city of Tega Cay to get a mention in its weekly newsletter and on its Facebook page and Twitter account and they compiled a list of 27 military members serving overseas.
“All the soldiers had some connection to Fort Mill one way or another,” McGuire said.
A group of 25 volunteers met at the Tega Cay Philip T. Glennon Community Center in March to pack the boxes with beef jerky, peanut butter crackers, powdered drink mixes, games and personal care items such as razors, deodorant, soap, toothbrushes, sunscreen, foot powder, ChapStick and socks.
McGuire went online to secure a list of the most-needed items, and the women of the club included donations that would add a special touch like hand-knitted caps and plenty of Easter candy.
“We sent out 34 boxes,” McGuire said. “One Fort Mill soldier has 20 (soldiers) in Afghanistan; We sent him 18 boxes which he shared amongst his troops. Two boxes each were (also) sent out to specific soldiers in Japan, Afghanistan, England and Israel.”
The garage sale raised $850, of which $540 was used to cover shipping costs for the boxes. The additional funds, as well as donations from the ladies, were used to purchase the supplies.
McGuire said they have already received thank-you emails with pictures from some of the soldiers who received the packages.
“They all had big smiles on their faces as they opened the boxes,” she said.
The Women’s Club, which has been in existence for 10 years and has approximately 130 members, plans to continue their efforts for the troops.
“We no doubt will do this again as it is so owed to our soldiers,” said McGuire. “Every day I pray for the safety of our heroes who are keeping us safe. This is the least we can do for them.”