Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Stacey Butler reportingConcerned Utahns have sent Eyewitness News emails asking how they can send care packages to the American troops.
One woman posted flyers on hundreds of homes asking for donations of travel size toiletries and necessary items.
Recently we reported on a woman gathering items for care packages for troops.
Citizens have sent care packages to soldiers in battle since the civil war. But now the overwhelming response is creating a security risk. The Department of Defense halted private citizens and even the Red Cross gathering items and mailing packages to soldiers at war.
"Jared Wood,American Red Cross:THE US MILITARY HAS ASKED US TO HOLD OFF ON THAT BECAUSE OF LOGISTICS AND SECURITY CONCERNS, THEY'RE UNABLE TO DELIVER PACKAGES WE PROVIDE THEM TO MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES."
A statement posted on a USO website reads--
"Due to the threat of anthrax following September 11th, the Department of Defense suspended its practice of forwarding correspondence and personal care packages by the American Public to any servicemember."
Now, instead of privately mailed care packages, the Department of Defense is asking Americans to participate in "Operation USO Care Package."
Here's how it works. For twenty five dollars, the USO will sponsor a care package to an American soldier, filled with items like prepaid phone cards, necessities and miscellaneous items like cards and board games. A personal greeting will be transcribed onto a postcard and included.
The National Guard says it's the families of soldiers that need help now more than ever.
"Jared Wood: THERE ARE A LOT OF NON PROFITS HELPING THE FAMILIES OF RESERVISTS AND ARMED FORCES MEMBERS WHO--SUDDENLY THEY'VE LOST SOMEONE WHO IS BRINGING IN AN INCOME."
There are a number of ways to support the troops and their families. Check out the websites listed on this page.