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Mid Cal Blue Star Organization Ships Off Care Packages
Servicemen and women both stateside and those deployed overseas are receiving holiday care packages through an effort coordinated by the Mid Cal Blue Star Moms organization. The local group has members from Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties. Photo Contributed

Completing a successful care package packing event, members of the Mid Cal Blue Star Moms organizations were thrilled with the recent turnout and the overall effort.

“Wow, thank you, everyone, for your support for our recent care packaging event,” noted spokesperson Charilyn Damigo. “A total of 174 boxes were filled to the brim by our chapter, and we assisted American Veterans First with an additional 82 boxes, for a total of 256 care packages – our largest packing event ever!”

Damigo said the local group honored requests for 23 boxes being sent to servicemen and women serving Stateside over the holidays, 51 boxes to those deployed over the holidays; and together, Mid-Cal Blue Star Moms and American Veterans First sent 182 boxes to National Guard Members recently deployed from Modesto.

“The grand total for postage was $3574.27,” Damigo added. “We had some very generous financial donations and fundraising events that helped make this possible.”

In addition, In-Kind donations were provided by several local groups:

Girl Scout Cookies - Girl Scouts Heart of Central Valley

Scarves and Stockings - Girl Scout Troop 3101

Stockings and Candy - Girl Scout Troop 2250

Stockings and Stocking Stuffers - Cub Scout Troop 316 Oakdale

Stockings and Snacks - Manteca High School

Nut Thin crackers - Blue Diamond Nuts

Pumpkin almonds - Sconza Candy and Oakdale Chamber of Commerce

Multiple Donations through Commemorative Air Force (Central California Valley Squadron) events

Stationery Cards - PakMail #614

Stationery Packs - Lighthouse Baptist Church

Drop Spot - Diamond Billiards

Socktober Donations - Native Daughters of the Golden West, Oakdale Parlor

Candy, candy, and more candy - Community members

Snack and Toiletry Donations - Amazon

80+ Toiletry Packs pre-packaged during the Love Turlock event

Starbucks Coffee - Customers at Starbucks, Escalon

Postage Donations - Disabled American Veterans, CVMA CA33-2

Also, said Damigo, private donors were the unsung heroes along with those groups providing the large variety of items to make the care packages a special taste of home.

“We hope we didn’t miss anyone,” said Damigo. “We also want to give a special shout out to Love Oakdale, who sponsored the postage for the final care packages. We also want to thank Oakdale Mayor Cherilyn Bairos for her continued support and donations.”

Some of the packages have already arrived at their destinations, Damigo added, and they are starting to receive ‘Thank You’ notes from the troops.

“We sure love seeing those happy faces,” she noted.

She also reiterated that the Mid Cal group couldn’t do what they do without the help of others.

“This is truly an amazing community and we love you all,” she said.

Now, they will start over again, as their storage inventory is almost completely gone and the bank balance is down to its minimum. They do have plenty of soap left over but could use donations of other items as they work to re-stock their supply.

“You don’t have to wait until next year to donate,” Damigo said.

You can visit their website for online donation options; drop a check in the mail to P.O. Box 1745, Oakdale, CA 95361; or make a donation at one of their events around the region.

For more information, contact Mid-Cal Blue Star Moms CA39 at 209-336-3221 or visit:

Boxes being packed and shipped to service members for the holidays featured a wide variety of products and some good wishes. The Mid Cal Blue Star Moms organization coordinated the effort; they meet the second Monday of each month. Photo Contributed