AUBURN — Maine Oxy has reported that their unique Maine Oxy Supports the Troops program has donated a total of 36 care packages to troops on active duty over a 30-day period this fall. This milestone, donating more than a box a day, has been reached thanks to the generous community support Maine Oxy has received and countless donations from the public.
Maine Oxy asks that the public continue to support their efforts to help those who serve our country. Today, many veterans who were once M.O.S.T. care package recipients support Maine Oxy in their call to action.
“It’s just such a great program,” said veteran Robert Bussiere, Sgt. First Class from Lewiston, who returned home from active duty this June. “Getting a care package is so nice. It’s nice that people back home, who aren’t your family or friends necessarily, are still thinking about you and supporting you.”
Sgt. Daniel Smith of South Portland, also a M.O.S.T. care package recipient who returned home this past May, echoes Bussiere’s feelings. “The great thing to me was that each care package was a touch of home. A reminder of where we came from,” said Smith. “It gave us encouragement to do our mission and come home and be safe.”
With the program in operation for more than eight years, the M.O.S.T. care packages have touched the lives of countless service men and women. The program was launched in 2004, when Maine Oxy sent care packages to their own employees who served in active duty. Since then, the program has developed into a multi-state donation system, in which people can donate items and letters to Maine Oxy stores across New England. Maine Oxy then combines these gifts to make large care packages and ships them to troops overseas.
According to Bussiere, he personally received five care packages from Maine Oxy over the period of a year when he served in Afghanistan. Each delivery was large enough to be shared between 10 to 20 fellow soldiers. His personal favorite care package gifts were hard candy, beef jerky, hand sanitizer and a thumb drive which helped him store photos throughout his time of service.
According to Smith, the most useful gifts from the care packages were socks, canned food, coffee and hot chocolate packets as well as hygiene products like soap bars and deodorant. His favorite gifts were the letters from people and a knitted hat someone made for him, which he still wears.
Donations can be brought to the nearest Maine Oxy location. Needed items include: food (powdered drink mixes, nonperishable snacks, canned meats and pasta); entertainment items (batteries, books/magazines, playing cards, pens, stationary); supplies (wet wipes, eye drops, lip balm, toothpaste, feminine products, soap); and letters. A personal letter is the most powerful donation one person can make.
For more information about drop box locations and specific items the troops need visit www.maineoxy.com/most.htm.