Community members send care packages to Menomonie Army National Guard Unit serving overseas

MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU) -- With the holiday season just around the corner, local businesses and military families are using special care packages to make sure the troops are not forgotten.

Military families and community members spent their Sunday preparing care packages for the 128th infantry alpha unit of the army national guard.

"The military family is small but it is huge in regard to everyone around us and that's what makes things like this happen,” Said Army wife, Kari Stinson. “We could not do it without the support of community and family and friends. It's priceless."

The unit is based out of Menomonie and is deployed to several locations in Afghanistan.

The care packages include several items.

"We have chips, jerky, energy drinks, games, cards, sunflower seeds, socks, DVDs and several other items,” said Army wife Chasity Babl.

The boxes also included art and letters from local middle schoolers, something organizers say really helps the troops feel at home.

"It's not home and to have these pieces from home and these pictures to hang up is a constant reminder that we have their back the community has their back and we're all here ready for them to come home,” Babl said.

Several community organizations donated nearly $7,000 towards the cost of the care packages. Businesses included Conagra Foods, 3M, VFW Post 1039 and My Local Deals who presented a check to help with postage costs.

"We thought what better way to help out our community then to support our local troops that are over defending our freedom overseas,” said John Whitwam of My Local Deals.

"We donated towards the shipping costs, both the auxiliary and the post,” said Marlin Severson of VFW Post 1039. “We just wanted to help. It is something that I never had when I was in Vietnam. We didn't have the good fortune of something like this happening for us so we want to make sure the troops today are well taken care of."

Volunteers packed 100 boxes that will now be sent overseas to give the troops a reminder of home while they are serving.