Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

July 31, 2013

Carter soldiers in need of ‘adoption’

By Lana Bellamy
Journal-Times

July 31, 2013 —     While Carter County soldiers are away serving in the war this summer, an opportunity to give them a piece of “home” is in the works.

    A donation service recently picked up by One Kind Act, a community service group, is asking for volunteers to create care packages for local soldiers.

     The non-profit organization, Adopt a US Soldier, works through volunteers who get contact information from soldiers in their area and distribute the information to givers.

    One Kind Act member Janet Jenkins, with the help of volunteer Renee Stewart, is organizing the Carter County adoptions.

    Jenkins said those wishing to adopt a soldier need to contact her either by phone, email or come see her at registration locations to get their matches.

    Sign-ups will be held Aug. 4 and 18 at Ralph’s Food Fare in Grayson and Aug. 11 and 25 at Superior Foods in Olive Hill.

    They will be collecting contact information of the donors so that names and addresses of soldiers can be sent to them when they receive official assignments.

    “The goal is to have every Carter County soldier adopted by Sept. 8,” she said.

    But this is just a goal, not a deadline. Jenkins encouraged everyone to volunteer before and after the date. She hopes people will keep donating for however long they wish, whether it be a one-time package or a series of care donations.

    Jenkins said instead of having a drop-off post for the care packages, donors are asked to be responsible for creating their own packages and shipping them.

    She added that paperwork will be involved in the shipping process, but she will be available to help anyone in need by phone or email.

    Jenkins said she first heard of Adopt a US Soldier through One Kind Act’s Facebook group. She was asked to work on starting it up in Carter County and immediately accepted.

    “We don’t want the soldiers to think they’re forgotten,” Jenkins said.

    Her local friend Thomas Perkins is currently serving in a highly combative zone in Afghanistan and he told her the gesture would help lift morale among the soldiers.

    Jenkins said it is ideal to include nonperishable items and lightweight objects in the packages to help with shipping and avoid expiration dates. Travel sized products were highly recommended in order to fit more items into one box.

    Janet Jenkins can be reached by phone at (606) 225-3188 or by email at janet_jenkins@hotmail.com.