Lower Macungie Township residents give to help soldiers celebrate the holidays
For many of us, a handful of holiday gift boxes found under the Christmas tree is wonderous enough.
Now imagine receiving 17 shipping boxes filled with items from games to snacks.
Thanks to the generosity of residents of Lower Macungie Township, at least one soldier in the eight year history of the troop support program has received 17 such boxes all at once.
Out on an assignment, the solider returned to her base to find the boxes waiting for her, Bonnie Kirka, an assistant director at the Lower Macungie Township Community Center explained. Most soliders receive as many as 10 to 12 boxes, Kirka said.
For township soldiers serving in the Middle East, sheets for twin size beds, pens, pencils, markers and games arrive at the community center and are sorted into piles by, among others, Bob Bieber, an Air Force veteran of Vietnam and an assistant director at the Lower Macungie Township Community Center.
Bieber served eight years in the miltary, four of those years overseas, and knows firsthand the thrill of receiving a package when so far from home, especially during the holidays.
The boxes go only to soliders with a connection to Lower Macungie Township. Families members bring in names. This year six soldiers will receive boxes packed with items collected at the Lower Macungie Community Center. As many as a dozen soliders have received gifts from Lower Macungie Township in a year.
Many of the soliders share their bounty with their fellow troops. And many of the recipients take the time to get in touch with thank-you notes, signed photographs, and other expressions of gratitude. One year, a solider stopped in person to say thanks, Kirka said.