Operation Soldier Care, a 10-week initiative, has officially kicked off at Fast Change Oil to collect care packages for deployed military members.
The firm’s 21 stores throughout Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee have partnered with the Blue Star Mothers and 107.9 WEMM-FM to get a little bit of home to servicemen and women overseas.
Ryan Collins is the service center manager of the Morehead store.
“Any time you have willing volunteers, sometimes it is the little things that can remind them of home,” said Collins. “This is to bring comfort in the face of all they are giving up and risking.”
A donation box is set up in the front of the store on Stone Street.
Some of the items needed include roll-on deodorant, lip balm, floss, feminine hygiene products, knit hats, tee shirts, ball caps, non-white cotton socks, beef jerky, sunflower seeds, ramen noodles, cookies, individual sauce packets, AA and D batteries, headsets, word search books, comic books, hand and foot warmers, and ink pens.
Zebulon Potter is an employee at the Morehead location. He says this is a small thing compared to what military members sacrifice.
“We didn't ask them to go and they don't get the luxuries that we have daily and often take for granted,” said Potter. “One of our co-workers has signed up with the National Guard and will be leaving us in October.”
“They give up so much and deserve our gratitude and respect,” said Collins. “Everything helps them and we hope that in addition to the item donation that people will write letters of thanks...we will make sure they get those, too.”
Once the donation boxes are full they will be sent to the Blue Star Mothers which will handle the shipping.
“We will continue to purchase totes to fill for the store donations and hope that we have to make several trips to buy more as they are needed,” said Potter.
To find other store locations, more information on Operation Soldier Care, or view an entire list of items being requested, visit fastchangeonline.com.
This article originally appeared on The Morehead News.