From PA to FFLD: Troops benefit from long-distance donation
Updated 6:17 am, Monday, May 23, 2011
The two of them, along with Bill Bachman, their Honors Society advisor, hauled about 300 pounds of snacks, iced tea, coffee, writing pads and hygiene products to the lobby of the Fairfield Police Department, which serves as a drop-off point for "Give 2 The Troops," an organization that sends care packages to military personnel.
"It would have cost us probably $300 or $300 to ship it all," he said.
The more economical option of driving became even more affordable when the university lent the trio one of its vehicles. Some how all three men, Ulichney's wheelchair, and all of the donations were squeezed to that one car. Graham, a sergeant in the Army Reserves, said that was a tribute to their expert "packing skills."
The donation was collected with the help of friends from two groups Graham and Ulichney belong to back in Pennsylvania -- Information Sciences and Technology Club and the Penn State Wilkes Barre Honors Society. The collection began in mid-February and wrapped up at the end of April.
The trek to Connecticut was the preferred option to deliver the donation because, according to Ulichney, the next closest Give 2 The Troops drop-off point is in North Carolina, even farther from their university.
Asked if they might make their way over to the Big Apple for some sightseeing en route home, Graham said, "We don't want to abuse the Penn State vehicle too much."
Surveying the containers and boxes of food, he added, "This was pretty much our objective. This was our main mission."
Among so many other items were three-pound containers of coffee, body wash, envelopes, toilet paper, sunflower seeds, styling combs, fruit snacks and beef sticks.
Graham said the troops will appreciate the donations because, "They can't just go to Wal-Mart." Granted, there are post exchanges, he said, "but there's not enough variety."
He added that as he and Ulichney collected items, "We went off the list and what I remember everybody always trying to grab [during my time in Iraq]."
Graham said of the most popular items with troops are beef jerky sticks and crackers. There were more than enough of both of those items dropped off in Fairfield. The donation be transported by a Fairfield officer to the Give 2 The Troops distribution center in Rocky Hill sometime this week, according to Fairfield Police spokesman Sgt. Sue Lussier.