The program operates off of applied grants and donations, both monetary and object-based. After the donated items are packaged – usually by groups of volunteers at the organization’s facility in Gansevoort – they are shipped to the Department of Defense in New York City, which then sees to it the packages get to specific bases and soldiers.
“We never know exact addresses,” explained Perry.
The cost of shipping packages downstate totals anywhere from $1,500 to $7,000 each month. Perry believes the organization spends nearly $60,000 on shipping annually, reaching about 2,000 service members. Most packages are then sent on to bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, which the government pays for.
New this year to the organization’s website is a place for service members to provide their information to have care packages sent to them. So far the service has been popular.
Perry said the organization has about 500 soldiers on its list to send packages to for the holidays and one to four are signing up on the website each day. Recently a group of 140 soldiers stationed in Afghanistan added their names to the list.
Sometimes soldiers request specific objects and the organization does their best to accommodate their needs, like last year when a soldier asked for a pop-up tent. This year one service member asked for new combat boots.
“We have a Facebook page, so we put the special requests on the page hoping people will see it and help out,” said Perry.
She said each year the service members are extremely appreciative and they have books filled with letters of appreciation.
“They can’t believe they got a package from a complete stranger. They’re grateful and it’s heartwarming,” she said.
To learn more visit www.operationadoptasoldier.org
Drop-off sites in Saratoga County include:
-Ballston Spa Community Library
323 Charlton Road, Ballston Spa
Rt. 9, Clifton Park
-Capitaland Home Improvements
1712 Route 9, Halfmoon
-Clifton Park Town Hall
1 Town Plaza, Clifton Park
-Charlton Town Hall
758 Charlton Rd., Ballston Lake
-Halfmoon Town Hall
2 Halfmoon Town Plaza, Halfmoon
-Main Center USA of Clifton Park
641 Grooms Rd., Clifton Park
-Saratoga County Clerks Office
40 McMaster St., Ballston Spa
-St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
148 Lake Ave., Saratoga Springs
-The office of Dr. Vincent Schutelli
Wells Street, Saratoga Springs
-Operation Adopt a Soldier
16 New Britain Drive, Gansevoort