"NORTH COUNTY -- The local chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America is collecting donations for holiday care packages to be sent to troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Items needed include candy canes, small Christmas ornaments, holiday greeting cards, New Year's hats and confetti, hot chocolate and apple cider packets, microwave popcorn, granola bars, lip balm, handheld games and small puzzle or wordbooks.
Donated items should be dropped off today at one of the following locations: Escondido Charter High School, Valley Center Roadrunner office, Valley Center High School or the American Legion post in Escondido. Pick-ups can also be arranged. Street addresses for the drop-off locations, as well as a list of additional items needed, can be found at the organization's Web site at http://www.sdncbluestarmothers.org/.Financial contributions to help offset the cost of postage are also welcome. Checks can be mailed to P.O. Box 301456, Escondido, CA 92030.Blue Star Mothers of America is a nonprofit, nonpolitical support group of mothers whose children are serving in all branches of the military. In addition to providing moral and emotional support for one another, the organization sponsors many activities in support of military personnel, veterans groups and causes that directly benefit the armed forces. This includes participating in the Miramar Air Show and the San Diego Veterans Day parade, holding picnics and activities for the local wounded warriors, and acting as "huggers" at local deployment farewells and homecomings.Meetings are held the second Saturday of each month at the American Legion in Escondido and all are welcome. For information, go to the Web site or call Kathryn Hood at (760) 594-4853."