Seniors and volunteers in three counties work together each fall to collect personal care products and a little bit of cheer for our military personnel overseas through Operation R&R, a program of Senior Services Associates and the Plano American Legion.
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteers organize the collection each fall, while volunteers at the Plano American Legion coordinate the packing for shipment to the USO in Rock Island.
This year, seniors from McHenry, Kane and Kendall counties packed up 14 boxes for shipment. Included were several hundred toothbrushes, toothpastes, deodorants, soaps, shampoos and conditioners, sanitary products, packaged snacks, paperback books, and travel-sized games.
USMC L/LCpl James Hill of Plano was one of the founders of this donation program. “We plan to continue to talk each year with the representatives at the USO to learn more about what they may need to support our troops,” said Hill. “We enjoy collaborating with Senior Services in these campaigns. Our hope is to hear from the representatives with the USO each year about some of the things our active duty personnel are in need of, or to learn what things they are really missing from home.”
Hill added that the Plano American Legion has seen such enthusiasm with the Operation R&R initiative that it has set up several permanent collection bins and is collaborating with the Women’s Auxiliary to help with the shipment to the Rock Island USO office.
For the seniors who spend the fall collecting items, and then packaging them for shipment, it is a very important program.
Little things that are needed, such as travel-sized soaps, and other items are easy things for seniors to donate. They are easy to pack up, and these little efforts make a big difference for the seniors who appreciate our military personnel greatly.
To learn more about this and other efforts of the RSVP program in McHenry, Kane and Kendall counties, contact Debbie Danitz, RSVP director, at 815-344-3555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.