Troops overseas appreciate little reminders and support from back home. Sometimes it's socks, sometimes it's a Snickers, sometimes it's just a letter saying someone's thinking about them. The Helena-based nonprofit Montana Supporting Military is a group working to provide those things.
This weekend, Montana Supporting Military is teaming up with Helena businesses for a donation drive.
Liann Meyer, president and founder of Montana Supporting Military, said the group will be collecting powdered drink mix, beef jerky, crew socks, eye-drops, protein bars, tuna pouches and other nonperishable items. Volunteers will be stationed outside of grocery stores from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Volunteers will be at Sportsman's Warehouse, Safeway, Super 1 and the Albertson's on the north side of town, Meyer said. If weather permits, Capital Sports, Van's Thriftway, Wal-Mart and the Albertson's on Fee Street also will have Montana Supporting Military volunteers stationed outside.
"We send care packages to 1,000 troops at a time," Meyer said. "We have some grants and donors, but it's all by donation."
Meyer said the biggest expense for the nonprofit is postage.
"It's $40 a box to send the packages," Meyer said. "That adds up really fast." Meyer added that the group is always looking for volunteers to help package donated items and accepting monetary donation online at mtsupportingmilitary.org.
A party is scheduled at the Lewis and Clark Brewery from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday that will include two-for-one drink specials for those with a military ID, a 50/50 split the pot, and music by The Good the Bad and the Blues.
Started in 2003, Montana Supporting Military's goal has always been to make troops feel remembered and to boost their morale with letters and care packages.
"Some people can't get out and about and they like to write cards or letters," Meyer said. "Troops like getting handwritten letters or cards, knowing someone is thinking of them."