by Brian Manning
HUERFANO — Huerfano Hometown Heroes is an organization of local volunteers supporting our men and women in the military to make their lives a little more comfortable.
Juanita Bailey and her team of volunteers work tirelessly to bring some comfort by sending packages, letters and postcards to our deployed military.
The Hometown Heroes meet at least twice a month to plan fundraising events, collect items to be mailed, and pack and ship care boxes to all parts of the world. Their mission statement is to recognize and support men and women in the military and to increase awareness of their sacrifices to their country.
Many of these volunteers are parents or grandparents of military personnel from Huerfano County. Many are Blue Star Mothers which means they have a son or daughter serving.
They raise funds by any and all methods. They sell cookbooks containing their own recipes, they hold bake sales and sell candy. They participate in the Francisco Day Parade and Oktoberfest.
Other people raise money for the cause. For example, Mr. Higgins’ eighth grade class in La Veta raised over $200 at their own bake sale, and another class wrote letters to deployed military members as a class project. Donations of money are always welcome since they must pay expensive postage on the packages.
Their goal is to send packages at least monthly depending on donations from the public. In May of 2012, they sent 214 care boxes to troops in Kuwait, Korea and the Pacific. At Christmas, the HHH like to make sure everyone gets some cheer in the form of a package, postcard, or a note from someone back home to boost morale.
When collecting items for shipment, they suggest nonperishable snack items such as trail mix, dried fruit, gum, wrapped candy (no chocolate due to the heat), and nuts. The most requested food item by the troops is jerky. They also like wool socks so they always have a dry pair. Our military personnel also like items to keep them busy, such as books, magazines, puzzles, handheld games, notebooks, pencils and other similar items.
Juanita Bailey and her devoted volunteers make life a little more pleasant for our dedicated troops. Donations are always helpful and can be dropped off at the Adventure Trail Mercantile at 1018 W 7th Street in Walsenburg. If you know of any person serving in the military, notify the Huerfano Hometown Heroes.
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