A local group is planning to gather supplies to send gifts to soldiers overseas during an event Saturday at Colonie Center.
The Capital Region NY2 Blue Star Mothers, consisting of families with loved ones in military service, is calling on Capital Region residents to help fill Holiday Freedom Boxes with donations of snack foods or cash for postage.
An event beginning at noon will feature an opening ceremony, music and gatherings of local organizations.
Soldiers often on the move find quick snacks welcome gifts, said Janet Moran, president of the local nonprofit chapter of the nationwide group that supports military members and promotes patriotism.
“They’re 20-year-olds, mostly male that could eat all the time anyway, and especially when they’re deployed, they’re burning a lot of calories,” she said.
Soldiers have identified a list of favorites that make fine additions to the Holiday Freedom Boxes: individual packs of cookies and crackers, microwave cups of macaroni and cheese, microwave popcorn, powdered drink mix, playing cards, granola and energy bars, trail mix and Pop Tarts, chicken and tuna in a pouch and beef jerky.
The Blue Star Mothers also put toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo and conditioner, sanitary wipes, small hand sanitizers, lip balm and individual sized tissues into the boxes.
Cash donations are also accepted: It costs $11.35 to send a box, and the Capital Region Blue Star Mothers has a goal of 700 boxes this holiday season.
More donation ideas can be found at www.capitalregion2bsm.org.
The event will take place at noon Saturday in Colonie Center’s Center Court.
The day will include a performances by the Albany Pipe Band, the Siena College ROTC Color Guard, the Clifton Park Community Chorus and St. Clare’s Choraliers.