People are asked to make sacrifices during times of war, and Temple University is making it easy for students and faculty to do so.
The University is participating a nationwide donation drive organized by the United Services Organization (USO), which brings aid and comfort to United States military personnel overseas.
The program, called Operation USO Care Package, is part of the organization’s 60-year effort to support U.S. troops.
Since 1941, the USO has been providing soldiers with entertainment, family support, travel assistance and other services to ease the strenuous demands of war.
With the arrival of war in Iraq, Operation USO Care Package is being implemented, as it has during past conflicts.
The program allows citizens to donate comfort items like toiletries and cameras.
Jennifer Connor, the University liaison to the USO, is optimistic about the response among the University population.
“We started the program about three weeks ago, and we’ve gotten a good number of responses and donations from students and faculty,” Connor said.
She said that the program would run as long as the conflict continues and troops are stationed in combat overseas.
Students can participate in two ways.
Students can donate items on the servicemen’s “wish list,” which is a list of basic provisions that anyone would take with them on a long trip: toiletries like disposable razors, toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo, sunscreen and cotton swabs, among other items.
Additional items that are being accepted include CD’s, DVD’s, pre-paid global calling cards and disposable cameras.
Donations can be dropped off in boxes located in the room A-6 in the Student Center or in the University Honors Office on the second floor of Tuttleman Learning Center.
For a complete list of the serviceman’s wish list, visit www.temple.edu/news/Mar03/OperationUSO.html.
Those who wish to help can also donate $25 to fund a complete care package, which the USO assembles and includes the same sort of items that are being asked for via donations.
Checks or cash will be accepted, and any messages that are to be sent to the troops should be written on the “memo” portion of the check, and it will be later transcribed to a personalized message on the care package sent to the respective troops.
Because of the anthrax letters that were sent through the U.S. Postal Service in the weeks after September 11, 2001, packages put together and donated by contributors to the USO for the use of any service member will no longer be mailed directly to the troops.
Donations can also be made via mail directly to the Philadelphia USO affiliate.
Donations should be mailed to: USO Philadelphia, Inc., Operation USO Care Package, Philadelphia International Airport, Terminal D, Philadelphia, PA 19153.
Eric Raible can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.