This is the final week to donate snack food items to a special collection for the South Carolina USO.
Verizon Wireless stores around the state are accepting donations of pre-packaged items such as beef jerky, peanuts, and rice crispy treats that the USO provides to members of the military traveling through or stationed in our state.
South Carolina USO Director Joanie Thresher says the donations are an easy way to show support and appreciation for our troops.
“We have what they call the 'summer surge' for Fort Jackson,” Thresher says. “And that's where more than 9,000 young men and women come in for their basic training over their summer break.
“Many of them haven't even finished high school. They're coming in during their junior and senior years – between that time – to get their basic training out of the way. And these young men and women, they enjoy the snack and the beverages that the community is so kind to provide for them.”
Personal hygiene items are also needed, ranging from bottles of sunscreen and hand sanitizer to alcohol wipes to individual packs of Kleenex tissue.
Those, too, can be dropped off at Verizon Wireless stores until August 30th.
Thresher says the donations are crucial for the program and help the USO serve some 10,000 servicemen and servicewomen each month.
“We just had our grand re-opening at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport location on May 30, and that was our three-year anniversary,” Thresher says. “And in that time we had seen just over 200,000 troops that had passed through the USO coming in boots-on-the-ground, in and out.
“So our facilities get worn quite a bit and we're going to have a grand re-opening of our Camp McCrady location here in Columbia as well in late September."
(Photo courtesy of USO/Verizon Wireless)