November 17 2019

Residents Donate Enough Candy for 40 Boxes to be Sent to Soldiers

By: Rich Hosford

Soldiers stationed on the seas will soon have some treats thanks to donations from the Burlington community. 


Burlington Veterans Services Director Chris Hanafin said that donations of Halloween candy by residents were much higher than normal this year. He said that as of Friday they had collected 40 boxes of candy whereas last year they had a total of six. 


“People have been dropping candy off constantly,” he said. 


The care packages are going to be sent to the men and women stationed on the USS Lincoln which the U.S. Navy says is currently operating in the North Arabian Sea. Hanafin said there are roughly 3,000 sailors and Marines on the ship. 


Along with the candy, the boxes will contain toiletries and items like fresh socks donated by the organization Provision Ministry. The boxes will also contain cards from Burlington students and Scouts who have hand-drawn messages to the soldiers. 


Hanafin, a veteran himself, said these care packages and personal messages can mean a lot to soldiers, especially those who don’t have as much family support as others. 


“The sad fact is that there are a lot of people overseas that don’t have a support network and it means the most to them,” he said. “I had a few Marines in Afghanistan that did not have any family members. When they receive a package the light opens in their face and it means so much to them. It doesn’t matter who it comes from, they appreciate it.”


Finally, Hanafin said a lot of the credit for the work of preparing the care packages put together and sent to the soldiers goes to Veterans Services Administrative Assistant Jennifer Goldsmith. 


“To tell you the truth I’m giving 100 percent of the credit to Jen,” he said. “She put together all 40 boxes and filled out all the custom forms. It’s been a lot of work for her.” 


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