Singing for Soldiers collects donations at House of Flags Nov. 11

Published 6:53pm Wednesday, November 6, 2013

As the Veterans Day Parade celebrates the soldiers who have served this country, Singing for Soldiers will be taking donations for active military in Afghanistan.
“I love these men and women,” said Deb Williamson, who’s coordinating the local effort for Singing for Soldiers. “Without them, we would have no freedoms. America wouldn’t be America.”
Donations can be left at tables at the entrance of the House of Flags Museum in Columbus.
Tables will be set up at the entrance of the House of Flags Museum in Columbus for parade goers to drop off items.
Williamson requested small toiletry items, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream, soap, lotion, Carmax lip balm and shampoo. They also need practical items, like white athletic socks, black knit caps, hand warmers, pens and writing tablets.
“They enjoy receiving snacks like gum, hard candy (no chocolate, please, it melts), jerky, granola bars, dried fruit, nuts, and hot chocolate,” she said. “Monetary gifts are always welcome to help cover the cost of postage to ship the items.”
The items will be given to Captain Chaplain Michael McCawley, brother-in-law of the late Sherry Carney, who co-founded Singing for Soldiers.
“[McCawley] has been in Iraq a couple of times, and he works with the Wounded Warrior Program,” Williamson said. “He has been redeployed to Afghanistan, and he will be able to go on choppers and be a point of contact to places where civilians could not travel.”
Citizens may bring the names and addresses of their own active duty friends and family members in war zones, and Singing for Soldiers volunteers will prepare individual care packages for them, too.
Singing for Soldiers has shipped thousands of pounds of needed items to Iraq and Afghanistan since its founding in 2008.
The group recently donated a tree to the family of Lt. Terry Varnodore, whose mother, Elizabeth Bradley, is a native of Saluda.
Anyone who would like to donate items or money may drop them off at the House of Flags Museum or contact Deb Williamson, 828-894-0136, or James Metcalf, 828-817-3722.

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