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D.C. Mayor: City Residents to Make Care Packages for Troops

A heated tent will be at RFK Stadium for volunteers Monday. (Photo by Lateef Mangum, courtesy of D.C. Mayor's office.)

Braving 31-degree temperatures and stiff winds, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty came to RFK Stadium today to announce a way for District residents to take part in Barack Obama's National Day of Service Monday. Fenty (D) said residents can come to RFK, at 2400 East Capitol Street SE, on Monday to help prepare 75,000 care packages for the troops.

Fenty said he expects 15,000 D.C. volunteers to take part in "A Day of Service for Our Military", during which they will assemble care packages with supplies provided by Target, which is sponsoring the event. Doors open at 10 a.m. at the stadium, and there will be a large heated tent in which volunteers will work. Those who wish to take part should visit the city's Web site.

“Washington, DC is not only the seat of government but it’s also a place where people aspire to serve their country,” Fenty said in a statement. “It is an honor and a privilege to bring together volunteers from across the nation to serve our troops while commemorating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In making these care packages, we celebrate the spirit of public service, and remind those who have sacrificed the most that they are in our thoughts and in our hearts.”

The volunteers will stuff boxes filled goodies and personal items and according to Sgt. Erica Castro, who was deployed in Iraq last year, "It was a blessing to know that people cared I still have some of the letters from the little kids.

Carolyn Blashek, President of Operation Gratitude, which will help with the event, said she founded the California-based group six years ago after meeting a troubled soldier at Los Angeles Airport.

"He told me was on leave for his mothers funeral," she said. "He said his wife left him, his only child as an infant. He had nobody."

By Hamil R. Harris

By David A Nakamura  |  January 15, 2009; 12:07 PM ET  | Category:  Volunteers
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