Things like socks, shoes, toothbrushes and toothpaste may seem like simple, every day items to the normal person, but when it’s part of a care package being sent to troops overseas, it’s so much more.
Even though troops are coming home from Iraq there are still tens of thousands of men and women deployed throughout the world, and that’s why organizations like Freedom Steps are such a big help.
“Our care packages - we gather supplies from fundraisers,” Freedom Steps volunteer Edel McPeak said. “It’s basic necessities that they can't get their hands on. They seem like simple things, but when you are overseas, there is a problem to get them. They certainly make life a little more comfortable.”
Freedom Steps sends care packages to troops about every two months, and on May 5, Freedom Steps will host its largest fundraiser of the year with its 5K run/walk at Masons Mill Park in Huntingdon Valley. This is the sixth year in a row the 5K run/walk will be hosted at Masons Mill Park.
Runners, walkers and other volunteers will donate goods to be packaged and shipped to our troops who are still deployed. Freedom Steps said it hopes to have about 400 at the fundraiser.
People can donate items like sun block, Chapstick, stationary, even clippings from a newspaper. McPeak said packages also depend on the weather and season. Some every day items even serve as lifesavers.
“Shaving cream, or a can of foam for silly string is actually a quick life saver,” McPeak said. “They spray it over the trip wires. You wouldn't even think something that could save someone’s life, but it does.”
Tickets cost $20; $10 for youths (12-18-years-old). Children under 12-year-old are admitted for free.
The race begins at 9 a.m. It will be preceded by the National Anthem at 8:40 a.m. An awards ceremony will be held following the race.