Community supporting soldiers through shoebox effort

From Staff Reports

   BRISTOL -- A Bristol organization is accepting shoeboxes packed with personalized care items to deliver to U.S. soldiers overseas.
   The King Benevolent Fund is facilitating Operation S.O.S. -- a community initiative created to support American military forces serving in the Middle East.
   The Tri-Cities community is encouraged to participate by helping to increase awareness, donating personalized care packages and volunteering to transport collected items.
   Participants interested in donating personalized care packages can fill shoeboxes with a variety of both essential and comfort items. Donated items can include toiletries, lip balm, sunscreen, wet wipes, eye drops, stationary, pens, small games, paperback books, dry, non-perishable snacks, powdered sweetened drink mix (Kool-Aid, Gatorade), knee-high stockings, and AA batteries among other items. Financial contributions are also being accepted.
   Items of offensive implication may be refused and/or eliminated at the discretion of Operation S.O.S. volunteers. Care packages should not be sealed upon delivery to the Benevolent Fund.
   Donations of individual care packages and financial contributions may be dropped off at the King Benevolent Fund facility. Upon receiving packages for shipment, King Benevolent Fund will process and ship packages, free of charge, to the soldiers.
   For more information, to submit names and addresses of military, or to schedule a pickup time for large donations, call the Operation S.O.S. office at (276) 466-5946 or submit an e-mail to SOS@kingbf.org. The Operation S.O.S. office is located at the offices of King Benevolent Fund, 1119 Commonwealth Ave., Bristol, Va.