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Caring for Troops: Ten years on, still packing love

By Kandra Kent
Published On: Sep 14 2013 09:00:50 PM CDT

'Caring for Troops' to send 21 care packages to troops overseas to service members with ties to Central Oregon.

BEND, Ore. -

Central Oregon service members serving overseas soon will get a care package from home.

Caring for Troops organizers and volunteers gathered Saturday at Bend's Community Center to put together 21 packages for service members, most of them deployed in Afghanistan.

Zooka Dental dropped off hundreds of supplies -- everything from hygiene products to magazines and candy -- to be shipped off to those serving our country.

Caring for Troops recently bought a new storage trailer and hopes to eventually put together packages remotely and travel to events around Central Oregon.

The group has been sending supplies to troops since 2003.

"We are making sure the service members know that were still thinking about them and we care about them," said organization President Betsy Leighty-Johnson. "It's more of that type of box than something they actually 'need, need.'"

Leighty-Johnson said because more troops are coming home, the organization is not sending out as many packages. At the height of the war effort, they were sending packages to more than 150 service members.

Caring for Troops meets the second Saturday of each month to box up packages for troops.

For information on how you can help, or to sign up a service member with a tie to Central Oregon, just visit: www.caringfortroops.com.

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