"We just want to reach out to troops overseas," said Bascom, "The parents love [their children participating], and we think the packages might make their lives a little better. To them, getting the package is like getting a present."
Sgt. Spanton said little things, like a Frisbee, will bring at least a few moments of happiness to the troops, which is something many troops are grateful for. "It really is the fun stuff " bubbles, Frisbees, movies "t hat make the packages great. I would tell friends and family who sent packages to send the fun stuff," she said.
According to Lt. Shaw, who spent 13 months in Iraq, the packages are some of the greatest gifts he's ever received.
"When I was getting packages, I thought it was great to see people that support us." Lt. Shaw also said that for troops in all military services, the feeling of being in conflict is, "almost universally indescribable" and that the support of people back at home really helps them hold on.
Over 16 packages were put together at the event, filled to the brim with Twizzlers, yo-yo's, magazines and several other items that many take for granted.
Shaw said his favorite item ever received in a package was beef jerky. "I was a trucker before I went [overseas]. I always liked to have that packet of beef jerky to chew on while I was driving," he said.
Employees' children were able to pick out items they thought the troops would like best while making their own personalized packages.
"There's gum in our packageand we have tissues," said 5-year-old Lindsey Connor, of East Greenbush, who put together a package with her big sister, Julia. "It was a lot of fun packaging the food and stuff," said Julia.
Julia, 9, and Lindsey put mints, gum, playing cards and candy in their package, they said.