Woman collects 'Books for the Troops'

Keegan has done a couple raffles to raise money, but she said she's really looking forward to getting into the local schools to raise awareness among students and teachers.

"I'm hoping to be able to talk about the importance of reading and reach the community that way. Also, to let the kids be aware that the sacrifices troops are making aren't just the big ones, like being away from home and living in foreign countries, but little ones like not having certain candies, baeball hats or books. Things we take for granted," said Keegan.

Keegan said easing the pain of these sacrifices is something she's always felt strongly about but was only able to act upon when she started her volunteer work.

"I've always had a very special interest and empathy for the troops because I'm in my 60s and to me they're babies, they're children I think of their mothers and want to do anything that can make their lives easier," said Keegan, who said she doesn't believe in war and also supports veteran organizations. "I truly believe in doing this I am finally making a difference, and being retired that's what I wanted to do, it just took me awhile."

While not necessary, Keegan said the gratitude is heartwrenching.

"I got one letter thanking me, from a soldier just being shocked that so many people remembered them, even complete strangers," said Keegan.

Books for Troops accepts only paperback books because they're lighter to carry in backpacks through the desert. Keegan said she gets a lot of mysteries and some romance novels for the women soldiers, but urges that any type of book is welcome. Some requests soldiers typically send is for comic books, coloring books and puzzle books.

There are drop off locations at Town Hall in Clifton Park, Red Robin in Clifton Park and Latham, the Getaway Restaurant in Clifton Park Center and the West Crescent Firehouse. Keegan hopes to expand toward Troy at some point, but an expansion of the program can't happen until she gets a few more volunteers.

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