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Firefighters, Cops Boost Donations to the Troops

Connecticut Post via YellowBrix

March 29, 2010

FAIRFIELD, CT — Maureen Janda was waiting until the collection box in the lobby at Fairfield police headquarters was full to make a delivery to Give2TheTroops.

About a week and a half ago, Janda, secretary to the deputy chief, walked in and saw that the box not only was full, but overflowing. Turns out that Fairfield firefighters had done some shopping — about $500 worth — and dropped it off the night before.

“We had a whole car full,” Janda said, and that included the trunk, as well as the back and front seats.

Give2TheTroops, established in December 2002, collects items for care packages for military personnel and financial donations to pay for shipping costs. So far, the group has supported about 1 million deployed troops with packages and letters from all over the nation.

Fairfield is one of four local collection points, although if one of the town’s fire stations is more convenient, Assistant Chief Chris Tracy said firefighters will get the items to police headquarters.

“We thought it was a pretty good idea,” said Firefighter Robert Smith, head of the local firefighters union. “We’re proud to be part of it.”

When Fairfield first started collecting items for the troops, cold weather items were needed most. Now, Janda said, they’re looking for donations appropriate for warm weather. “No chocolate, because it will melt,” she said. But powdered drink mixes are welcome, Janda said, as well as travel-size toiletries, though the organization does not accept hotel toiletries.

A full list can be found at

“We’re sitting here at home,” Smith said, while the troops are overseas. "It’s just a little ‘Thank you,’ " he said.

Janda asked that people remember to donate items for military dogs. “They need treats, too,” she said.

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