Family is grateful for Goodies

The Farmer family, who were quarantined at their home at Aviano Air Base in Italy, look over items from a Goodies package while their husband and father was deployed in the desert in the Middle East.

As an exempted “care giving” charity, Goodies For Our Troops has continued to ship care packages to the service members, including the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy, veterans and military families on an almost daily basis since the March 17 shut down order.

Changes are required with the Yellow Phase reopening as of May 8. The health and safety of volunteers and donors is first and foremost, and all requirements in Governor Wolf’s COVID-19 Safety Procedures for Businesses will be followed.

Access to the workshop at 87 Main St. Lower Level, Wellsboro, is by appointment only. Email or call 570-662-5601 to schedule an appointment to drop off donations and/or to volunteer or set up a “field trip” for your group or family. “Field trips” are available for afternoons, evenings and weekends.

Packaging events will resume on June 15 from 9-11 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Because of social distancing, participation is limited to eight volunteers, and appointments are first come, first serve.

Face masks/coverings are required to enter the building, and temperatures will be digitally taken. Anyone with temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will not be permitted to enter the building.

Volunteers are also needed to “work from home” on various projects including cutting and sorting manufacturers’ coupons for military families, writing notes/letters, making cards and wrapping goodies for shipment. Troops and veterans particularly enjoy the notes, letters and cards from home.

When Galeton area District Judge Chris Kalacinski was overseas, he posted on Facebook: “Just sending a quick message from us here in Afghanistan to thank all of you who have shown us your support. Being here is a little easier when you know there are people like all of you back home. You remind us of what we are fighting for, its people like you that keep our spirits up ... thank you.”

Dawn Pletcher, founder and codirector, said, “We sincerely appreciate any and all donations and helping hands, even if only one penny placed in a donation can or one-half hour of your helping hands. They all add up, and we cannot continue without your help since we get no government assistance. All of us are 100% unpaid volunteers, although we have partnered with the Experience Works RSVP program which pays our senior citizen volunteers 20 cents per mile from their homes to our location and back.

“The generosity and prayers of so many hundreds over these past 14 years plus 10 1/2 months have made it possible to put smiles on our heroes’ faces, albeit for brief moments, and have shown them and our military veterans and families that their enormous 24/7 sacrifices for us are appreciated and not forgotten,” she continued. “With your help and the good Lord’s blessings, we plan to continue our mission until they all come home.”