PARIS — Members of Foster-Carroll American Legion Post 72 and VFW Post 9787, both of Paris, are looking to brighten the holidays for military personnel by sponsoring a care package drive during the annual Christmas Parade on Saturday.

“We’ve had donations trickling in,” Sarah Glynn, a U.S. Navy veteran and president of Post 72, said. “We look forward to collecting what we need during the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce Annual Christmas Parade.”

The two groups are organizing a parade float honoring active military members who cannot be with their families at Christmas. The Maine Army National Guard is lending a Humvee to pull the float and two ATVs will pull carts to take donated goods from parade watchers. The float will be dedicated to military personnel separated from their families during the holidays and decorated with blown-up images of local military members as a way to include them in their hometowns’ festivities.

“There will be at least one, if not two, military vehicles in front of and behind our float,” Glynn said. “And we’ll have some items to give away … those are a surprise.”

The groups are asking for donations of everyday staples and supplies, such as toiletries and personal care, items, sunscreen and lip balm. Nonperishable food items are also in demand, such as Ramen noodles, seasonings, canned tuna and seafood, peanut butter, spring water, sports drinks, trail mixes and gum.

“And foods that offer a taste of home,” Glynn said. “Local, like Humpty Dumpty potato chips or Maine maple treats.”

She said easily shipped entertainment items will round out the care packages. Writing supplies, playing cards and board games, popular books, Frisbees/balls can help relieve boredom.

“The community and local businesses are extremely generous with our traditional ceremonies for Memorial Day and Veterans Day,” Glynn said. “I believe that this is the first event we’ve focused on celebrating our current service people and their daily sacrifices. We hope to make it an annual tradition.”

The American Legion and VFW welcome any assistance from the community.

The parade will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting on Main Street in Norway and proceeding to Main Street in Paris. The theme is Christmas Time.

For more information, email [email protected] or call Rick Little at 461-0379.


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