KIMBOLTON -- Sonshine Boxes will again be assembled beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 27 at the home of Mark and Mona Stoffer near Kimbolton.

Kindred's Cambridge Health Care and Rehabilitation Center is collecting supplies for military boxes to be assembled and mailed by the Sonshine Box Organization. Mario Cristofides, executive director for Kindred, has designated Cambridge Health Care a donation site for supplies for the military boxes.

"We want to do what ever we can to support our troops and get the community involved" he said.

Cambridge Health Care and Rehab will accept donations from the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week starting now through March 26 at the reception area located inside the main entrance.

Several local soldiers have already received Sonshine Boxes and they are all grateful.

Caldwell Elementary School is also collecting supplies. Principal Chad Briggs has designated the school as a donation site. Donations will be accepted now through March 26 during school hours at the school office.

Dwayne Shepherd, administrator at Riverside Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, said his facility continues to be a donation site. Linda Ford, coordinator for this project, is excited about the drive.

"We want to show our support for our troops and get the community involved" said Ford.

Riverside Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center will accept donations from the public starting now through March 26 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the business office in the main building through the glass doors.

New Philadelphia Buehler's is also collecting supplies. Sally Swihart, donation coordinator for Buehler's, has organized a supply donation drive for store customers who would like to purchase items for local military serving overseas.

Buehler's will accept donations from the public starting Saturday, March 12 through Friday, March 26.

All representatives of participating businesses collecting supplies for the military boxes said this is a great community service to honor our military men and women.

Some of the desired items include: Magazines, newspapers, pull-tab foods, microwave popcorn, snack size chips and crackers, trail mix, beef jerky, licorice, body wash, chapstick, baby wipes, foot powder, writing supplies, tooth brushes, floss, toothpaste and mouthwash. Travel size items are best and no chocolate products due to melting.

The Birds Run Community Church formed the program, Sonshine Boxes, in April 2003 as a way to send items overseas to 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 more than 5,700 boxes overseas. A representative of a military unit is chosen to receive the boxes to distribute to the other troops. Families give their permission to use the addresses.

The group successfully mailed 320 boxes on Dec.12, 2009.

Donations toward postage for this ministry can be sent to: Sonshine Box Organization, P.O. Box 18, Kimbolton, OH 43749.

To help support this ministry by collecting supplies or by participating in the assembly, contact Mark and Mona Stoffer at 498-4253 or Perry and Jodie Baranich at 432-2893.

The group encourages calls with names and addresses of soldiers who would like to receive a Sonshine Box. Contact the Stoffers if soldiers have returned to the U.S. as they need to be removed from the mailing list.

The Sonshine Box Organization is recognized by the Blue Star Mothers of America.

Volunteers pack Sonshine Boxes

Volunteers, l to r, Kayla Daymut of Senecaville, Betsy Anderson of Quaker City, Margaret Trusso of Cambridge and Donna Selman of Newcomerstown help pack Soneshine Boxes for loved ones serving overseas. This April will mark the seventh year since the first Sonshine Box was sent.