Volunteers needed for packing Sonshine Boxes Dec. 1

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KIMBOLTON -- Sonshine Box Organization is sending some "sonshine" to military serving overseas. The next assembly of boxes is scheduled Saturday, Dec. 1 at 9 a.m. at the home of Mark and Mona Stoffer.

There are several donation sites in the surrounding area for the public to drop off supplies. They are Cambridge Health and Rehabilitation Center located at 1471 Wills Creek Valley Drive Cambridge, available 24 hours seven days a week starting now through Nov. 29; Riverside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center located at 1100 E. State Road, Newcomerstown, is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting now through Nov. 29; Nationwide Insurance Agency located at 117 N. Bridge St. in Newcomerstown, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday now through Nov. 30; Caldwell Elementary during school months; New Philadelphia Buehlers, 417 S. Broadway, starting Nov. 16 through Nov. 29; Do or Dye Hair Designs, 2nd Street, New Philadelphia, collecting now through Nov. 29; and Healthy Alternatives, 320 N. Wooster, Dover, collecting now through Nov. 29.

Randy's Body Shop, 235 7th St. NE, New Philadelphia, has volunteered to be a drop off site for the community now through Nov. 29. Hours that supplies will be accepted are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays by appointment. Randy and Maria Bailey want to show their support to the military.

Also joining the Sonshine Box Organization in gathering supplies are Marc and Jane Kneuss, owners of the 250 Antique Mall, 9043 Route 250 SE, Dennison. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Wednesdays. They will accept supplies from the community starting now through Nov. 29.

Some needed supplies are: Foot powder, lotion, shampoo, body wash, chap stick, disposable razors, beef jerky, microwave popcorn, Ramen noodles, ring tab foods (beans and wieners, sausages, spaghetti), snack crackers, granola bars, breakfast bars, peanuts, licorice, snack size chips, sunscreen, baby wipes (a must have for soldiers), deodorant, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, notebook filler paper, writing pens, envelopes, shave cream, Mike and Ike box candy, Runts, Hot Tamales (personally requested from a soldier).

Containers should be travel size, and no chocolate due to melting.

The Birds Run Community Church formed a program back in April of 2003 called "Sonshine Boxes" to be sent overseas to our military men and women. The boxes contain useful items such as personal hygiene products, snacks, and a military edition of "Daily Bread," an inspirational booklet. The group has successfully sent over 8,000 boxes overseas. They choose a representative of a military unit and send the boxes directly to that person to distribute to the other troops. Families give them their permission to use the addresses. The families are usually in contact with their loved ones and therefore they anticipate the delivery. All soldier names and their addresses are confidential and are not shared with any other organization, group, or private individual. The organization is recognized and supported by the Blue Star Mothers of America , a nationally recognized organization, the Muskingum University Student Veterans, a chapter of the Student Veterans of America, The VFW, Vietnam Veterans and the American Legion.

The group successfully mailed 324 boxes on Aug. 4.

Donations toward postage for this ministry can be made out to Sonshine Box Organization, P.O. Box 18, Kimbolton, OH 43749. Also, If you would like to help support this ministry by collecting supplies, or by participating in the assembly day, you may contact Mark and Mona Stoffer at 498-4253, or Perry and Jodie Baranich at 740-432-2893. The group encourages calls with names and addresses of soldiers who would like to receive a Sonshine Box. If soldiers need to be removed from the list due to their return to the states, contact the Stoffers

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